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Evictions for Sochi Olympics Cost $100,000 a Person

It has cost the government about $100,000 per person to resettle Sochi residents from their homes on land designated for the Winter Olympics in 2014, a regional official said Tuesday.

The government has spent 9.5 billion rubles ($302 million) to resettle 3,000 people, Krasnodar Deputy Governor Alexander Saurin told a meeting on Olympic preparations, Interfax reported.

He said 95 percent of the land needed for the games has been acquired.

The authorities began relocating residents from areas allocated for the construction of Olympic venues in 2008. Since then, the authorities have provided 482 individual homes and 518 apartments for the resettlers, while two-thirds preferred to accept money, Saurin said.

The amount of compensation offered in each particular case is determined on the basis of an official appraisal of a sequestered property's current market value and may vary widely.

He noted that at least 20 percent of those who were resettled did not have the documents required to receive new housing.

Saurin also pointed out that the authorities have needed to seize a growing amount of land as the opening of the games nears — and more people were being resettled.

"The demand for land plots has had a steady tendency to grow. It has grown fivefold compared with 2008," Saurin said, adding that 900 land plots would be seized in 2012-13 alone.

He acknowledged that the process was not always smooth because of resistance from some residents or issues related to complicated ownership rights on some properties. But he insisted that all relocations are being carried out "in compliance with the legislation and within the set time limits."

The relocation of all residents from the areas of Olympics-related construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. In total, 1,786 land plots and 256 apartments are to be sequestered, Interfax reported.

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