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Russian PM Mishustin brags about moving 50,000 residents from slums, over 1.6 million in line for emergency housing assistance

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At a recent government meeting, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin boasted that over 50,000 Russian citizens were resettled from dilapidated and emergency housing in the first six months of 2023, reported state-run news agency TASS.

According to Mishustin, the figure “significantly exceeds” a similar statistic from the previous year.

However, data from Russia's Housing and Utilities Reform Fund reveals that as of December 2022, around 1.61 million Russian citizens were awaiting relocation from dilapidated homes. Radio Liberty affiliate Sever.Realii reported that a total of 112,353 buildings, encompassing approximately 28.30 million square meters of housing, have been designated as emergency structures. A sum of 520.24 billion roubles ($5.08 billion as of August 2033) from the state budget has been earmarked for the resettlement of people living in these homes.

During a recent State Duma hearing, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin disclosed that the volume of emergency housing in the country is expected to increase by 2 million square meters annually. The ongoing program for addressing emergency housing stock entails relocating people from 10 million square meters of buildings that were given emergency status prior to January 1, 2017, with the effort set to continue until 2024.

Khusnullin also calculated that 13 million square meters of emergency housing had emerged from January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2022, and predicted that about 2 million square meters of new emergency housing would be added to Russia’s housing stock each year.

Mishustin’s claim falls in line along numerous poverty reduction-related claims from United Russia, Russia’s ruling party, as well as demands from President Vladimir Putin.

United Russia notably promised to beat poverty back in 2003. In November last year, Vladimir Putin stressed the need for relocating residents from dilapidated and emergency housing — a demand he has repeated for the past sixteen years and which has already become a meme.

Putin pointed to the immorality of the mere existence of slums back in 2007. “I think it immoral that the government is paying little heed to these issues. A country with such immense reserves, accumulated thanks to oil and gas revenue, cannot put up with millions of its citizens living in slums,” he said.

In 2012, he reiterated his call: “We need to finally get our people out of slums.”

He addressed the issue yet again in 2013: “The first thing we need to do is to get our people out of slums.”

In December 2022, Putin even announced that the recently annexed Ukrainian territories – Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, as well as the so-called “DPR” and “LPR” – will reach the “all-Russian standard of living” by 2030.

A notable statistic on Russia’s standard of living can be drawn from Novaya Gazeta’s 2020 investigation of sewage systems. 30,000,000 people in Russia are not connected to centralized sewage systems, and Russia has the largest population share of any developed nation with no access to indoor plumbing.

  • Tver Oblast, western Russia
  • Primorsky Krai, Russian Far East
  • Tver Oblast, western Russia
  •  Yakutsk, Siberia

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