And so it began...
In some regions, the new law started working right off the bat. In Astrakhan, for example, at the beginning of February, out of 5400 houses in the city, 2,200 declared dilapidated, 640 buildings were recognized as emergency and subject to demolition. Among them are old mansions with the status of cultural heritage sites, as well as modern five- and nine-story buildings without visible signs of wear.
“The city is shocked by the scale of the renovation that has fallen on it”, - said Oleg Shein, a State Duma deputy from Astrakhan, a member of the Fair Russia faction, the only one in the State Duma that opposed the law on IDT. - The impression is that the entire historical part of the city is going to be demolished. Of course, there are really emergency houses among those scheduled for demolition, but I know many addresses personally and they cause shock".
And what a surprise it is for the residents! The most expensive central regions - Kirovsky and Leninsky - became the absolute leaders in demolition. There were 938 and 623 buildings with signs of accidents, respectively, 559 were recognized as emergency (55 of them are architectural monuments!).
On Chekhov Street, almost all residential buildings erected in the 19th century received a black mark - Yashin's Manor with shops and warehouses, and Mochalov's House. On Maksim Gorky Street (the "golden mile" on the central embankment), out of 41 houses "with history", 16 were recognized as emergency. Residents learned about this from the announcement at the entrances. On behalf of the city administration, people were asked to promptly hold a meeting "for demolition" and prepare for eviction. A serious scandal erupted, the tenants spoke out categorically against the recognition of the buildings as emergency and demanded an explanation from the mayor's office - on what basis is their life being destroyed and why, secretly from the public, the appearance of the old city is disfigured? Frightened officials blamed their sin on a petty clerk who, allegedly on his own initiative, posted demolition announcements and was already fired for this. The question of the accident rate of houses is hanging in the air - it seems to be there, but not so terrible as to be evicted immediately.
The inhabitants of the “golden mile” did not have time to catch their breath, the inhabitants of the ancient Selensky quarters were in a fever: it became known about dozens of examinations that these buildings passed, many of which are merchant mansions, architectural monuments. Some houses, according to the results of the survey, were recognized as emergency or pre-emergency. Others have already been offered to prepare for eviction. The very fact of the accident rate of housing came as a surprise to the residents - for the most part, we are talking about houses with strong walls, without any hint of cracks, with well-groomed facades and solid communal "stuffing". People are indignant.
The most persistent Astrakhan residents are seeking to remove the accidents label from their homes through the courts. Oleg Shein informed about the first victory on February 17: “Residents from st. Sverdlova, 61 today won a court against the mayor's office of Astrakhan. The officials decided to demolish this wonderful house, and to evict people to hell. And, as always, they drew up an accident report behind the backs of people. This is the very center of the city, profitable land, old Astrakhan, the historical center, which the temporary workers from the Astrakhan administration hate. And today officials have lost, and people have won. Congratulations to my wonderful fellow countrymen!".
According to Astrakhan analysts, the first trial in favor of residents is a kind of trigger, and the victims have every chance to bring officials to justice for dubious examinations.
Of course, various versions arise, including the one about the total clearing of neighborhoods not only with a great history, but also with the same prospects for future developers. The fact that there is no information on the accident rate of houses on the official website of the city administration also lends itself to the heat.
Astrakhan resident Vyacheslav Mikhailov tells an interesting story:
“Quite recently, in the fall, representatives of the administration of the Sovetsky district walked around our district and carefully examined the old houses. I previously wrote to the administration to demolish just one of the MKD, which burned down (under the same number with mine, but without any "letters"), and its "burned-out" is still a source of a possible emergency, since they are in direct proximity from thickets of reeds and a gas pipe. And, to be honest, I was glad that they responded to the statement quite quickly (less than half a year had passed). Apparently he was overjoyed early. The district administration managed to apply not for the burned down house, but for mine. It is not an apartment building at all. Moreover, it is not in municipal, but in private property. Nobody looked at it. With one stroke of the pen, we were driven into the renovation program".
However, not all residents are forced into the program. Some are ready to participate in it voluntarily and put in order dilapidated housing on shares with the city or at their own expense and efforts.
“So, it seems to me, the renovation was conceived”, - Astrakhan activist Natalya Bausova told Novye Izvestia by phone. - But for some reason everything was perverted - the renovation was reduced only to the demolition and mechanical replacement of old housing with a new one, the initiative of residents is not needed and is often punishable. This is exactly what happened to the inhabitants of our house. A year and a half ago, the administration offered to examine our house. We agreed that the whole house is in order, but the unexpected care and attention is still pleasant. The experts were from another city, not engaged, they examined everything very carefully and made a recommendation to exclude the house from the demolition program.
And suddenly, at the beginning of the 20th, we receive an order from the Astrakhan city administration on the recognition of the building as emergency and subject to demolition by the end of 2024. For what? Could it be because we had previously asked to help us repair the stairs and the veranda? So, we have already done everything ourselves - we insulated the veranda at our own expense and repaired the stairs.
There are three municipal apartments in the house, they do not need repair costs, but they took part in both money and labor. We also carried out all the amenities ourselves - gas, water, sewerage. But the house still remained in disrepair !!!! Imagine - because of the "municipalities". Because the city has a program to improve municipal housing, and the authorities will carry it out, up to the point that they cut off gas to neighbors and force them to use firewood again, so that they remain among the candidates for housing improvement.
According to the Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation, the condition of hundreds of buildings in Astrakhan is truly frightening. Even more alarming, high-profile criminal cases against dozens of Astrakhan officials are linked to the resettlement programs from the dilapidated fund. This is generally a record in 2019, when, after an inspection in Astrakhan, Deputy Prosecutor General Andrei Kikot, 43 criminal cases were initiated, related precisely to the untimely identification and resettlement of emergency housing.
Astrakhan was visited by Sergey Stepashin, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Housing and Utilities Reform Fund, who pointed out that there are a lot of "Khrushchev-era apartments" in the region, which fall under the new law on renovation. “Living in them, of course, is very uncomfortable. These five-storey buildings were built for only 25 years, they are cramped, and their walls do not keep warm at all, - the Astrakhan edition "Arbuz" quotes the chairman of the fund...
"Is it any wonder that after such recommendations in the kilometer list for the demolition the five-storey buildings and nine-storey buildings took the place of honor?", - told Novye Izvestia Astrakhan human rights activist, expert in the field of housing and communal services Valery Razuvayev. - There are also older houses in the city - two- and three-story buildings, completely dilapidated and uncomfortable, but the local bosses liked the proposed Moscow scheme - to clear the most delicious areas under the new building...
As always, the new project asks more questions than answers. In Moscow, they thought of immediately cutting off new territories in order to raise their price tag for new settlers and newcomers under the Moscow residence mark. In Astrakhan, the land for construction within the city will soon end, there is nowhere to expand. What awaits the city in the event of massive demolitions? Relocation to sleeping quarters and traffic collapse. The only way to avoid this - and it is also the most optimal for the old city - is the reconstruction and restoration of existing buildings. But this is not even discussed. Everyone sleeps and sees a rich investor who will come and quickly redo everything for them.
This problem was raised at a roundtable meeting that took place last week in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the participation of residents of historical buildings, representatives of the administrations of the Leninsky and Kirovsky districts, chairman of the City Duma Igor Sedov and State Duma deputy Oleg Shein.
“It is wrong to say that the administration came running in order to clear the territory for some investor”, - Vitaly Naumov, head of the Leninsky district, reprimanded the “residents of the palaces”. He was supported by the Speaker of the City Duma Igor Sedov. “I really wanted someone to appear. But due to the dense location of architectural monuments, not a single investor considers these sites. They are not interested in them, because removing monuments from protection takes many years”, - he said.
It seems that the fresh law on KRT will help the residents of Astrakhan to speed up the matter. With the integrated development of territories, everything dilapidated and emergency can and should be demolished - "at the discretion of the executive authorities." Here are the organs Astrakhan did not hesitate to try on KRT for themselves, and looked closely at houses that might be of interest to a potential developer.
"The key in the current scheme is to evict, not resettle people", - says Oleg Shein, - since the legislation does not provide for the provision of other housing, but the provision of an unclear amount of money (housing is allocated only to tenants of municipal apartments). Do the Astrakhan authorities have money for eviction? Have they been confirmed with federal funds for demolition and housing construction? Not. But they count on this with the holy simplicity of successful excellent students: “Mr. Prime Minister, we tried so hard to run ahead of the locomotive, we counted so many emergency gangs - not to demolish. You must give us money!"
However, no one owes anything to the regions. This kind of story are created locally, and the center is unlikely to undertake to disentangle them. The law on all-Russian renovation is interpreted unambiguously: got into a fight - you pay yourself. And here the redemption price becomes the most sensitive issue both for city budgets and for owners living in the emergency fund.
Many in Astrakhan are dissatisfied with the appraisal of their housing and believe that it is understated compared to the average price of secondary housing. Officials explain: if the owner does not agree with the appraisal of his housing, he has the right to order an independent appraisal and go to court. In case of an increase in the amount of the assessment, the administration will pay it according to the writ of execution. When the average price in a city is about 40 thousand rubles, and the city pays half as much and offers to sue, this is a vicious story. People are simply robbed, forcing them to hire an expensive appraiser for their own money and at the same time still lose 1.5 years of their life in the courts.
The horror is that Astrakhan residents have already begun to be evicted onto the street without providing adequate housing and without proper compensation. The inhabitants could not even imagine such "care" of the local authorities. For example, when checking out from the street. Trenev, house 8, citizens, according to Shein, received from the city 600-800 thousand rubles "for new housing." It is difficult to call it anything other than mockery. It could be worse…
Roza Lazareva, 75 years old, a labor veteran, a native Astrakhan, - instead of a three-room apartment in the city center, she received 450 thousand rubles "compensation". Alexandra Selivanova, a young mother with a child - 230 thousand rubles for eviction from a demolished house on the street. Meyer. The woman writes:
“Don't know where to turn? We are being evicted from our housing under the agreement of the flexible fund. We were resettled here back in 2012. Last year we were confronted with a fact: we are allocating funds to replace the demolished housing. It didn't suit us. Sued. Representatives of the Housing Administration have not yet appeared at any court session. When they pay us money, then we will need to vacate the premises occupied. But where should we go? You can't buy anything with this money, nothing at all. At the moment, we also cannot take out a mortgage, I am on maternity leave to take care of a child. The bank will simply refuse us, as the income is low”.
"It seems unacceptable when apartment buildings in satisfactory condition are recognized by the administration as emergency without notifying citizens, after which they are evicted by a court decision with the provision of monetary compensation, for which it is impossible to purchase another dwelling".
We risk to put a jinx on it, but it looks like a mass enlightenment of the people's representatives. And just the apotheosis of the common sense that the Duma majority supported the proposal of the opposition colleague - Oleg Shein - "to regulate the situation in Astrakhan in order to exclude its reproduction in other regions of Russia".
Information has been requested from the Russian government on measures to remedy the situation in Astrakhan. There is no answer to the State Duma yet. They think.
For its part, Novye Izvestia sent an official request to the head of the Astrakhan administration, Maria Permyakova. No response was received at the time of publication. Apparently, they are choosing words according to the instructions that should come from the center.
Kirill Stepanenko, Doctor of Law, Head of the Expert Council of the ANO Institute for Housing and Utilities Reforms - commented the situation to Novye Izvestia:
"I remain of my opinion, which I expressed during the short-term preparation and discussion of the so-called law on all-Russian renovation. The idea is not well thought out, not calculated and dangerous in its unpredictable consequences.
The law came into force and it is already pointless to challenge it. But I, frankly, am glad that the grandiose scandal with its use, which happened in Astrakhan, happened right now, a few weeks after its adoption, and did not stretch out in time and space with all its "Vices". Here they are all in a concentrated form, and the law can be amended by additions and bylaws. Actually, the deputies are already doing this. A little more and there will be a normal law - in the interests of citizens, and not developers and local authorities, as it is now".