10 august 2012

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev holds a meeting on housing construction

“The state’s priority is active housing construction and better housing conditions for the people of Russia.”

Dmitry Medvedev’s opening remarks:

Good afternoon. We are meeting today to discuss the development of housing construction in this country. Notably, our meeting is taking place on the eve of Construction Workers Day, a professional holiday that is celebrated on the second Sunday of August. As such, I’d like to greet veteran builders and all those who work in this industry. A huge number of people are employed in the construction industry. We are building on a big scale and will build even more. The main thing is to do a good job and make it transparent.

The state’s priority is active housing construction and better housing conditions for the people of Russia. Nothing is going to change in this respect. We have actively implemented the national project for affordable and comfortable housing since 2006, that is, practically for six years. During this period we have created a solid legal base and established a number of development institutions, such as the Housing and Utilities Fund and the Housing Construction Fund.

We also have the Mortgage Agency and maybe these steps have facilitated its development. Nonetheless, despite the existence of these institutes and the budgets of all levels

and despite this issue being a priority, the improvement of housing conditions still remains an urgent issue regardless of where we go and what the people we talk to do for a living. Many of our citizens who have some savings still find it very difficult to buy a flat or build a house, that is, to resolve their housing problem in one way or another. I saw this again during my recent trip to Siberia. The housing issue is in the focus of attention for people no matter what their profession is. This is why our goal is to create the conditions for increasing the scale of housing construction, that is, for resolving this housing issue that has tormented this country for so long.

In general, things are not so bad because there is progress. In the first six months of this year, about 250,000 flats with a total area of more than 20 million square metres were commissioned – a bit more than over the same period last year but not as much as we need. After the slump caused by the crisis, mortgages have been gaining ground again. In the first six months of this year, banks issued over 295,000 mortgage loans for a total sum of 430 billion roubles – 50% more both in number and value terms. However, in the first quarter of the year the monthly interest rates of rouble mortgage loans also grew from 11.6% to 12.2% (this is confirmed by those who use these loans). We know the reason for this, but this still requires comment.

In late June, I approved a number of measures on improving housing conditions for families with three and more children. The idea is to give them a priority right to receive housing. Also, regions and municipalities should help provide utility facilities to the land plots that are given to this category of citizens for housing construction free of charge.

The formation of housing construction cooperatives on the land of the Housing Construction Fund is a promising mechanism. A pilot project to build housing for young scientists is being carried out in Novosibirsk’s Akademgorodok although they are still complaining that not enough housing is being built.

We must be at the forefront of the main development trends and, therefore, we must change our legislation. I suggest that the Ministry of Regional Development and interested parties draft amendments to the law on promoting housing construction until October 1, 2012 and submit them to the government. These amendments should give people with three or more children the right to join special cooperatives, create housing opportunities for workers of the defence industry and reflect some other issues that I hope we’ll discuss today.

In addition, we must study the issue of using land plots of the Housing Construction Fund for the construction of student hostels – we’ve already spoken about this. Last but not the least, we must improve the regional legal foundation, which is required for the introduction of these mechanisms.

Let’s get down to work.


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