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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Construction Chief Admits Bad Quality


First Deputy Mayor Vladimir Resin

Moscow's construction chief admitted Wednesday that houses being built by the city government for thousands of residents ordered out of condemned buildings are not very nice, either.

"You can't expect the quality of new buildings in Moscow to be high with the volume of work we have to do," Vladimir Resin, head of the city government's construction department, said at a news conference.

Residents have complained that the new apartment buildings are of poor quality or have been thrown up hastily and are not yet fit for habitation.

Furthermore, the new buildings are often located on the outskirts of town, while the old buildings are mostly in the center.

At a City Hall meeting last week, Mayor Yury Luzhkov lambasted Resin, waving in his face photographs showing the interiors of the new buildings. Luzhkov ordered that a commission be created to inspect the new city housing and take residents' complaints.

According to footage shown on Rossia television after the City Hall meeting, heat and electricity already had been switched off in the residents' old homes to compel them to move into the new buildings. The new homes, meanwhile, had bare concrete floors and walls, crooked door frames, leaky toilets and crumbling plaster.

Resin said Wednesday that the residents would be able to register complaints on a hot line that is slated to start operating Feb. 17.

Officials from NII Mosstroi, a city-owned construction research institute, are then to investigate the complaints and work with residents and builders to find a solution.

Resin said the city would build 4.5 million square meters of new housing per year in addition to reconstructing an estimated 3 million square meters.

"The reconstruction will be carried out according to the strictest standards," he said, adding that the work will be under surveillance and require a stamp of approval from the new commission.

Some 28 million square meters are unfit for habitation, according to the construction department. That does not include 18.6 million square meters of housing in khrushchyovki, five-story buildings thrown up hastily in the '50s and '60s and soon to be torn down or reconstructed because of their poor condition.

There is a total of 192 million square meters of housing space in Moscow.

The construction department commissioned 4.5 million square meters of residential space last year, a 7.3 percent increase from 2001.

The department boosted spending by 8.4 percent year on year to 134.6 billion rubles ($4.2 billion) to build new apartments, schools, theaters and other buildings in 2002.