Unbearable demolition: how to get rid of the buildings without prejudice to Muscovites

Other author’s opinions

Citizens will pay: the program of capital repairs of similar to a pyramid scheme Jul 28 2015, 11:02

Before the start of the demolition need an open discussion about the pros from the demolition of the old houses are not depreciated outs from the seal construction and overloaded infrastructure

Preparation of a new program of demolition of five-story building began in Moscow on the patterns of classic pre-election PR project. First, with a request to adopt such a program to the mayor asked municipal deputies from the “United Russia”, have not manifested any interest in this topic. After the municipal deputies the idea was supported by the profile Commission of Moscow city Council on urban planning. Finally, the mayor himself received a blessing for the new programme of resettlement and demolition of the first persons of the state.

Obviously, therefore, the mayor began his campaign for re-election for a third mayoral term. And, unfortunately, yet announced their plans for the resettlement and demolition of five-storey buildings don’t look like a systematic program to improve living conditions of 1.5 million people.

A very different building

It is the uncertainty of the city hall plans to demolish the five-story building scares many Muscovites. The five-storey buildings in the city is heterogeneous. A smaller part consists of a brick five-story building, built in the late Stalin or runneresque years, before the mass construction of prefabricated Khrushchev in the late 1950-ies. It’s more comfortable housing than the later built panels, — high ceilings (2.7 m), large area of apartments, thick walls and other features. As a rule, the quarters of the old five-story building planned convenient for residents. The purpose of a later building was the maximum of square meters, which greatly increased density of development. For example, the “story” part of Moscow — zyuzino, built in the 1960-ies, took 7th place for population density among all 125 districts (excluding New Moscow). In addition, the improvement of Khrushchev’s neighborhoods and districts lagged far behind the pace of housing construction.

In this regard, really working the program of demolition of dilapidated five-storey housing in Moscow should be differentiated. For a more comfortable brick five-story building, as well as for individual series block instead of demolition it should be possible to accelerate the timing of the overhaul. While it looks like officials of the municipality or promise something that is not going to perform or not completely versed in the history of the issue.

House to be demolished

The most run-down part of the five-story prefabricated Fund are series of the 1960-ies. Only one series of houses I-515 accounts for almost 20% of all five-storey buildings. Now these houses have already been very worn out physically and morally outdated. A significant part of the sockets have never passed a major overhaul. Thus, according to the departmental building codes (BCH), the minimum duration of efficient operation of these buildings prior to repair had to be 15-20 years. But, according to the approved by the government of the Moscow regional program of capital repair of the greater part of these houses is scheduled for 2025-2040 years.

In those few buildings, which are now repaired, workers are faced with almost absolute wear of some engineering constructions and elements of buildings. For example, replacement of pipes for hot and cold water possible entirely in the stairwell or impossible in principle. If one of the owners agrees to the replacement of the riser in the apartment, to replace them in a checkerboard pattern on the other floors was impossible. The old pipe just melt when you try to weld new ones. Houses deteriorate in the eyes. By the way, a similar fate awaits nine-story building, built in the early 1970s from the same panels, and five-storey Khrushchev.

In addition to the physical deterioration is obvious and the problem of comfort: cramped apartments with very cramped kitchens in some houses have a sedentary bathrooms, lack of garbage disposal and the elevators, which greatly complicates the lives of older people and people with disabilities. Because of the General tightness and lack of hallways on the floors for young families is often simply nowhere to place a baby carriage or Bicycle. Therefore, subject to the consent of the inhabitants of a resettlement programme and demolition is the only way out.

Problems in the way of demolition

The first problem is funding. At the meeting with President Putin, the mayor said that the financial ability of the capital enable you to implement a massive demolition of five-story building. If funding will occur only at the expense of the Moscow budget, the program is doomed to failure. The fact that the current resettlement program of demolition of five-storey buildings, started in 1998, lasted for almost 20 years. During this time the Moscow authorities are unable to carry 6 mln sq m of housing. Now we are talking about 25 million sq. m. it is Easy to calculate that at that rate, a new programme of demolition will take at least 80 years. “15-20 years”, referred to by the Minister of construction Mikhail Men, yet sound like a fairy tale. Revealing another fact. It was under mayor Sobyanin, the Moscow government began to demolish five-story building only at the expense of the city budget, excluding private investors. In the end, if in 1998-2010 years in Moscow, on average, every year the demolition of about 100 five-story building, in 2011-2016 years — about 50.

So without attracting private investment to implement the plans impossible. But it is hampered by two circumstances. First, the investment contracts for the demolition and resettlement of five-story building worked in the cost of loans on the market no more than 11-12%. Secondly, the level of demand for housing in the beginning and especially in the mid-2000s years has seriously exceeded the current that was allowed to beat the cost of resettlement of residents of demolished houses due to the sale of the remaining apartments. Without a General reduction of interest rates or of the city program of subsidies, and also without recovery of the housing market and mortgage lending projects for the demolition of five-story building will be unprofitable.

The second big problem is the infrastructure limitations. Large scale housing construction even with a small seal construction significantly increase the energy consumption in the city and will require capacity expansion. Otherwise there is a risk of blackouts, as in 2005. Seriously will increase pressure on social and transport infrastructure. For example, the download of kindergartens and schools in the South West district of Moscow, part of which is built up with five-story buildings, typically 90-95%. Without the construction of new social institutions in the areas of demolition, we expect huge queues in kindergartens and schools. Should be taken into account and the transport problem, otherwise residents will have more hours to spend in traffic jams. Expert assessment of the value of the program in 2.5–3 trillion rubles are clearly underestimated, as it does not take into account all associated costs.

The third problem is regulation and administration of demolition. It is obvious that the government wants to enter into equal relationships with the owners of apartments in five-storey buildings and to enter into contracts of exchange or purchase of apartments in the future of the demolished houses. Anyway, at the meeting with the President, the mayor spoke about the requirements of a market purchase of housing in the demolished houses as “outstanding niche” in the legislation. It seems that the municipality is seeking the adoption by the state Duma a law allowing the seizure of property under the reconstruction of five-story building. What to look for such a withdrawal with the use of Riot police and bulldozers, we have already seen in the construction of Olympic facilities in Sochi.

Such logic looks especially cynical against the background collected from each owner of the property tax (by increasing each year the cadastral value), as well as contributions for the overhaul. There is a double standard: the landlord should be the owner when paying the tax, but ceases to be once it comes to conclusion of the agreement on the relocation.

A very significant silence of the city authorities concerning the abolition of the contributions for the repair to the residents of the five-story building and a return of previously paid contributions. Article 174 of the Housing code devoted to this issue, the present wording seems very ambiguous and requires clarification. To the owners of the apartments where will be held the repair appears good judicial perspective. People paid money for a service that eventually got.

It is not clear yet who in the government will be responsible for implementing this enormous program. Until 2014, the settlement involved the Department of housing policy of the city of Moscow, which was liquidated by the decision of the mayor. Serious cuts were in the construction departments of the councils and prefectures.

Finally, the fourth problem — how to prevent the compaction of critical construction in the new blocks and deterioration in the quality of the urban environment? It leads to overcrowding of buildings on the site demolished in 2000 years of the five-story building became the main negative consequence of the demolition program: small yards-“wells” in the ring of 25-storey houses, which are uncomfortable to be a lack of Parking places in the yards and cork. Therefore, in advance, before the start of demolition, the need for open professional discussion about how to make the increase in density and building height was minimal. Otherwise the negative effects of a seal outweigh the advantages of demolition and resettlement of the old five-story building.

The authors ‘ point of view, articles which are published in the section “Opinions” may not coincide with ideas of editorial.

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