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Georgy Boos:"At the present time, only 9 percent of Russia's citizens can afford to buy themselves a home"
Georgy Boos, Vice Speaker of the State Duma, or Russia's lower house of parliament, called for the promotion of mortgage programs to make housing more affordable to the Russian population as he spoke at a press conference on the RIA Novosti premises Tuesday. "At the present time, only 9 percent of Russia's citizens can afford to buy themselves a home," Boos said. The adoption of a housing bills package by the Duma will make it possible for that percentage to be brought up to 30 percent, he said. According to the package architects' estimates, the amount of housing on offer will double by the year 2010, the Vice Speaker said. Over the longer term, analysts expect 130 to 150 million square meters of residential space to be commissioned in Russia every year, he said. The real amounts of housing construction loans will increase thirty-fold in that period, he added. The new housing package, aimed at developing Russia's system of mortgage crediting, has been elaborated by an ad hoc team led by Igor Shuvalov, aide to the Russian President. It contains 27 bills amending the effective legislation on mortgage loans and securities and on the registration of property rights. It also offers blueprints for housing and urban development codes and amendments to civil legislation and tax & budget laws. Russia's housing reform is aimed at optimizing prices on the housing market and stimulating demand and supply. The architects of the new package propose that the demand be encouraged by introducing a system of credit offices, allowing housing transactions without a notary's certificate, not withholding the value-added tax on sold housing, cutting the profits tax rate for investors in mortgage securities, and evicting insolvent borrowers from mortgaged real estate. And they intend to boost the supply through amendments facilitating agreement and expert examination of documents, promoting loan programs for developers, and permitting to sell land plots, prepared in advance, at open tenders. The State Duma is expected to consider the housing package in its first reading on June 10, 2004.
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