House-warming to take place

In the current five-year plan it’s planned to construct at least 1m sq.m of rented housing
By Vasily Kharitonov

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk spoke at the ceremony which launched the construction of Magistr residential complex for scientific and creative intelligentsia.

“Prices for this housing will be rather affordable. For instance, payment for state-owned rented housing in the houses near the ring road where this district is being built will be half of that paid for a rented flat. However, we’re not going to throw around square metres constructed using budgetary money. Flats in rented houses will be given to specialists — needed for the country — in line with organisations’ applications, as was previously with service housing. I refer to the housing which will be constructed using state funds. Meanwhile, all self-financing enterprises — state and privately-owned — are obliged to build rented housing and these should be given this task,” emphasised the Belarusian President.

The attention towards Magistr isn’t accidental. This is a residential district — constructed upon the instruction of the President — will accommodate scientists, teachers, cultural workers.

Mr. Lukashenko remarked that at recent meetings with students and artists of the Kupala Theatre he was asked to help in resolving the most urgent problem — the shortage of housing. “We didn’t want to delay the solution of this problem and today we are starting the construction of the Magistr residential estate for scientific and creative intelligentsia,” noted the President.

Reporting to the President on the fulfilment of his instruction, the Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Nikolai Ladutko, noted that a whole range of sites was under consideration. The choice of the ground — stretching from the ring road to the northern and eastern borders of the landscape and recreational zone along Skorina Street — is reasonable. There’re 800m to the metro and the National Library is located nearby, as well as student hostels and educational buildings of the Belarusian National Technical University. Everything here corresponds to the interests and aspirations of would-be new occupants and the pit for the first house is already ready.

In the end of the year, first house-warming events will take place. In total, over 2,000 families will live in the Magistr district which should be ready for July 2015. The peculiarity of the district, whose creation will cost over Br500bn, is that all housing here will be rented. It means that a young specialist, who has no money to buy their own flat, can rent it from the state at an affordable price. After creating families, they won’t have to live in their parents’ flat or give the whole salary for a rented flat. A person will live in comfortable conditions and collect money for the construction of their own housing. Previously, a young specialist could only dream of such an opportunity.

Mr. Lukashenko underlined during the solemn ceremony that the start of the construction of Magistr marks a new approach to implementing housing policy in Belarus. “We are starting the implementation of the promising national project to build state-owned rented homes. This seemingly routine arrival of the President at the construction site is a historical event because from here we will start the global construction of rented homes. It is a new form that has not been developed in Belarus while other countries have been building such homes for a long time already. It is a modern European way and a decent alternative to the private housing market with its unrestrained prices”.

Yet speaking about the construction of rented homes, Mr. Lukashenko underlined that the construction of public welfare homes for certain population categories will be continued. “We’ll help those who have three and more children. We’ll help families with many children with housing without any queues. Our obligation is also to help the military,” said the Belarusian leader.

The construction of Magistr will be financed using the funds of the Republican and local budget. Moreover, 300-500 flats will be paid by the Hi-Tech Park which will be available for renting to employees of the HTP resident companies. Isn’t it a good example for other organisations and enterprises whose employees need housing? The President believes that such practice should be spread countrywide. “All self-financing enterprises — state and privately-owned — should construct rented housing,” stressed the President.
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