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8,000 families of servicemen have been provided with housing in 2005
8,000 families of servicemen have been provided with housing in 2005, Russian Vice-Premier and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said at a question-and-answer government session in the State Duma on Wednesday. According to the minister, “more than 130,000 servicemen in the army and the Navy need housing and 31,000 want to improve their housing conditions.” Ivanov noted that housing problems of servicemen would be partially solved after some lands and real estate owned by the Armed Forces have been sold. “We will continue this activity, but the Defence Ministry will give neither land or real estate to someone for nothing,” he emphasized. The minister believes that “the programme of state housing certificates played the positive role in the solution to the housing problem.” The Finance Ministry has assigned 30 billion roubles to implement this programme for the next two years. “The situation with state housing certificates also led to negative consequences,” Ivanov pointed out. “If you resign you get housing, if you does not resign you does not get housing. All this system is turned on its head that results in the resignation of young officers and deteriorates the personnel drain problem,” the minister remarked. According to the minister, “additional 30 billion roubles will allow redistributing the budget funds. Ivanov cited the mortgage system as a positive example of providing servicemen with housing. According to him, “22,000 officers and contract servicemen use the mortgage system, 37,000 roubles were transferred to the personal account of each servicemen in 2005.” “That is to say, the longer you serve, the more money you will get to buy housing. It is a good stimulus to continue military service,” Ivanov indicated. Speaking on the prospects of the housing privatization in military townships built especially for pensioners who are former servicemen, the defence minister noted that amendments in the law on the status of servicemen will be introduced this year that will permit pensioners living in military townships to privatize their housing, if access to these townships is free.
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