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City Hall to Keep Housing Programs

Sun shining on decrepit five-story buildings of the type being replaced throughout Moscow under city programs. Igor Tabakov

Nikolai Fedoseyev, head Moscow's housing department, announced that the city does not plan to reduce the volume of housing being constructed for those on the waiting list for improved living conditions or displaced from condemned buildings.

Fedoseyev said Mayor Sergei Sobyanin held a meeting during which the city's housing program was discussed.

"No reduction in the volume of constructed housing in Moscow is planned, nor, I believe, will occur," Fedoseyev told reporters late last week.

"Moscow always lags behind in the first quarter," he continued, commenting on a report in a business publication that Moscow in the first quarter of this year lagged behind in housing. "Sixty to 80 percent of the city's housing goes out in the fourth quarter. This is the construction cycle, nothing can be done about it."

Fedoseyev said city authorities plan to cut the list of those in need of improved living conditions in 2011 by about 11,000 families. This year, 690,000 to 700,000 square meters of housing is supposed to go to the city's social programs.

According to Fedoseyev, another 100,000 square meters will be allocated via the city's share in investment projects, and about 50,000 square meters via so-called second-category housing, including escheat housing that comes into state ownership when a property owner dies without an heir.

Fedoseyev added that another 150,000 square meters would be bought on the market with funds from the city budget.

"This adds up to no less than 1 million square meters," he emphasized.

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