The worn-out housing of the country: maybe it won’t collapse!

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Изношенное жилье страны: авось не рухнет!

The promises of the authorities to eliminate emergency housing are still promises, because miracles do not happen: the old housing stock is decaying faster than a new one is being built.

The Russian government warned of the “threat of collapse of residential buildings throughout Russia” due to the rapid increase in emergency buildings. If in 2022 there were 23 million square meters of emergency housing, in 2023 – almost 36 million square meters. meters. According to preliminary estimates, by 2030 there will be 40 million “squares” of decrepit housing stock in Russia. If we recall that about 13 million square meters have been settled in the last 10 years, it is doubtful that 40 million square meters will be able to be renovated in six years. Rather, it can be done, but, according to Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, “at least 4 trillion rubles are needed, which are not there.” So far, there are only 550 billion rubles. What they can do, they will do for this amount.


Money, of course, solves everything, and when it’s not enough, you have to dodge. Back in October 2021, the Ministry of Construction approved a new criterion for dilapidated apartment buildings that were also subject to resettlement – those that are “in a limited operable technical condition.” The intricate wording made it possible to delete thousands of square meters of rotten housing stock from the federal project “Ensuring sustainable reduction of uninhabitable housing stock”, which has been in operation since 2013.

Изношенное жилье страны: авось не рухнет!

The October order of the Ministry of Construction firmly and clearly stated that “limited-functioning” houses should be constantly checked by regional interdepartmental commissions and decide whether it is possible to continue living in houses where there is a roll, there are risks of collapse or damage, or to recognize them as emergency. As a result, instead of new apartments that people would have received under the resettlement program, they were subjected to endless inspections, according to the results of which local authorities adjusted obviously emergency housing to conditionally suitable – “limited working capacity”.

Изношенное жилье страны: авось не рухнет!

Perhaps the most illustrative example of such a vicious practice was the house in the city of Pechora in the Komi Republic. In May of this year, the entire entrance of a 5-storey dormitory collapsed here. Residents have repeatedly complained about its depressing condition, and in the winter of 2022 it was examined by the Housing Inspectorate (subordinated to the Ministry of Construction of Russia). She found signs of emergency structures and ceilings, and the prosecutor’s office demanded that the municipal interdepartmental commission inspect the building, assign it the appropriate status and move people to normal housing, but the commission did not see signs of emergency, only promising major repairs… in 2049. After the collapse of the entrance – fortunately without casualties – Governor Vladimir Uiba agreed that the house was in an emergency. It would be stupid to deny it after what happened!


Thousands of people continue to live at risk to their lives and health in ghost houses without hot water and heating, with sagging roofs and floors, with old dangerous wiring and leaking and collapsing walls, but regional, and after them, municipal authorities are in no hurry to recognize housing as emergency, even if it is such for all parameters. Everything is being done so that only an extra house does not fall into the list of unsuitable for living. Why burden yourself with the obligations of settling people, if you can pretend that the buildings that breathe incense will still stand for centuries. There is no emergency building in the register – there are no problems, and the house “in a limited working condition” can always be patched up. As happened, for example, with a house in Smolensk, for painting the facade and repairing the roof of which the authorities spent 5 million rubles, just not to recognize it as an emergency. Yes, there are cracks in the walls and holes in the floor inside the building, but how beautiful it is outside! Now no one will dare to call it an emergency.

Изношенное жилье страны: авось не рухнет!

An even more anecdotal situation occurred in Tula Belyov. There, a resident of an 188-year-old house, recognized as an emergency and collapsing before her eyes, was incredibly “lucky”: when her entrance collapsed in May of this year, she moved to a new apartment… the next door. In the Vladimir region, in the village of Urshelsky, officials were so brazen that they offered a disabled woman to pay for relocation from an emergency house by paying for the death of her son, a participant in the SVO, although other residents were resettled at the expense of the state.

Residents of emergency houses really lose their nerves. They literally begin to rush at officials almost with their fists. A criminal case even had to be opened against a resident of Sakhalin. A woman with her husband and child lived for three years in a rotten and damp emergency house in Uglegorsk, because the authorities offered the family a “one-bedroom” instead of her “two-bedroom”. At one of the meetings in 2022, a woman threw a moldy shoe at the mayor of the city, reminded him of the need to comply with the court decision, and a new apartment was found. However, it turned out to be twice as old as before, with cracked walls, a flooded basement and … in an emergency house.

Изношенное жилье страны: авось не рухнет!

But in Rostov-on-Don, residents of a five-story building built in 1963, where a wall collapsed at the end of January this year, were given 10 thousand rubles each in compensation, and the mayor of the city advised the homeless people… take out mortgage loans. Everything would be fine, but there is one caveat: in 2020, the house was declared an emergency, subject to demolition and resettlement.

It is high time to say goodbye to the worn-out, barely living housing stock, which cannot be called residential, and it is time to move people from squalid and crumbling houses to livable square meters. Especially those who have been suffering for decades in apartments from which the street can be seen through the cracks in the walls, the floor is falling out from under their feet, plaster is falling from the ceiling, there is no water in the toilets, and most do not even have toilets.



Starting in 2025, the country will begin the third stage of resettlement from the uninhabitable housing stock, which will last until 2030. The regions have already sent their data to the Ministry of Construction. In 57 regions at once, the problem living space increased by 53%. St. Petersburg turned out to be the undisputed leader of the anti-rating. In 2022, there were 1.2 thousand square meters of emergency housing in the city on the Neva River, and in 2023 – 46.4 thousand “squares”. The growth is almost 40 times! Yakutia (2.4 million square meters) lined up behind St. Petersburg. m), Arkhangelsk (1.8 million square meters) and Tyumen regions (1.5 million square meters), Perm Territory (1.4 million square meters). Slightly less high results were shown by Khakassia, Magadan region, North Ossetia.


Despite all the complexity, the problem of resettlement of emergency housing can be solved by increasing the volume of housing construction and allocating mandatory shares in it for free social housing for “emergency workers”. The resettlement program, which is barely moving now, will probably never be completed in any other way.


The first stage, calculated until 2024, included buildings recognized as emergency before January 1, 2017, and the second – from January 1, 2017 to January 1, 2022. The goal – to resettle 13 million square meters of emergency housing and improve the living conditions of almost 700 thousand citizens – has been practically fulfilled. According to the Territorial Development Fund, most regions have fully completed the task. The laggards must settle over 25 thousand people from 273 thousand square meters of housing by the end of 2024.

Elena Khakimova.



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