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Vladimir Putin promises to resolve the housing issue

February 14, 2012, 13:21 UTC+3

The presidential hopeful elaborated on the housing issue and promised to fully resolve the problem by 2030

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MOSCOW, February 14 (Itar-Tass) — On Monday, the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda published another election campaign article by Vladimir Putin: Building Justice. A social policy for Russia." In it, the presidential hopeful elaborated on the housing issue and promised to fully resolve the problem by 2030. Experts note that Putin has not delivered on his previous promise to commission some 100 million square meters of housing a year.

Vladimir Putin's article tells about the necessity of systemic measures, namely decreasing the cost of construction at the expense of lower price of construction materials, expanding the program to subsidize the interest rates on mortgage loans for young families and public sector workers, creating a civilized market of rented housing," the newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes. According to the prime minister, it will provide the opportunity to resolve, by 2020, the problem of affordability of new housing for 60 percent of Russian families, not for 25 percent, as the matter stands at present. By the year 2030, the problem will be fully resolved.

Member of the board of the institute for modern development Yevgeny Gontmakher told the Komsomolskaya Pravda the following: "in for a penny, in for a pound: Putin has to write another article, this time about finance, to explain where he will get all these funds from. The objective is interesting and fine, but how can one accomplish it given the fact that next year budget expenditure has been cut? And if we should live through 2012 without upheavals, the years 2013 and 2014 will be difficult. Ideally of course, the money should be generated by the economy. But it is still unclear how it should do it."

 Earlier, Putin used to set record targets for the government, too, such as commissioning 100 million and even 140 million square meters of housing a year, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. However, the country has never seen those promises delivered. Instead, the statistics for commissioned housing include unfinished projects - windowless, doorless and even roofless houses. As officials report about positive success of the construction industry, senior executives again promise housing paradise to the population, setting up a sort of Potemkin Villages in Russia, i.e. houses in official documents, which are unfinished buildings in reality.

The premier says many correct words about improving the quality of medicine, education and arranging social lifts; the necessity of "smart" social, economic, migration, humanitarian, cultural/education, environmental and legislative policy, the Vedomosti writes. There is no confidence that Russia might suddenly pursue such a policy (it has been unable to do so before) and that the brain drain, caused by the discontent with the quality of life might be reversed to an inflow of skilled labor. If Russia maintains the present-day petrodollar economy institutions and inequality before the law, many will continue to leave Russia for countries where freedom and property are protected by law, not personal ties or position in service.

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