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Kremlin: Too early to draw up nation-wide housing renovation program

June 06, 2017, 16:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In 2017, Vladimir Putin ordered the Moscow mayor to tear down the so-called ‘Khrushchevki’ - five-story apartment blocks - constructed to ease the acute housing problem in the 1950s and 1960s

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© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. The Kremlin considers it too early to draw up a nation-wide housing renovation program following the Moscow project, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"It depends on financial capabilities," he said. "We all know that the Russian regions have different capabilities as far as financing goes. We should at least wait and see the first results of the Moscow renovation program, then it will be possible to draw up further plans," Peskov added. "I repeat once again: there are no specific plans concerning other regions, the focus is currently on Moscow," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Head of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for Housing and Public Utilities Galina Khovanskaya said earlier that during the Russian president’s upcoming question-and-answer session, named Direct Line, she intended to come up with a proposal that a nation-wide housing renovation program be drawn up.

When asked if the lawmaker was scheduled to address the president during the session, Peskov said that "it cannot be known for sure, as the Direct Line is rather unpredictable, it depends on the topics that will be brought up, there are no pre-scheduled questions and addresses."

In the beginning of 2017, Vladimir Putin ordered Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to tear down the so-called ‘Khrushchevki’ - five-story apartment blocks - constructed to ease the acute housing problem in the 1950s and 1960s under Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

The residents of the demolished low-rise housing units will be offered to move into newly-built apartment blocks. According to preliminary estimates, the capital is set to renovate over 25 million square meters of real estate, or ten percent of its housing projects, within the next 10-15 years.

Some 4,500 old low-rises with 1.6 mln residents are currently slated for demolition. Russia’s State Duma, the parliament’s lower house, is currently discussing a draft law to outline all aspects of the resettlement program. The bill will undergo its second reading on June 9.

Putin’s televised Q&A session will take place on June 15.

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