1.6 million to be rehoused in huge Moscow demolition project

1.6 million to be rehoused in huge Moscow demolition project
A Moscow Khrushchyovka undergoing demolition in 2008 (Image: Sidik iz PTU under a CC licence)

23 February 2017

Moscow city authorities have announced plans to tear down around 8,000 Soviet-era housing blocks, in a vast clearance programme that will see 1.6 million people lose their homes.

According to a statement by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin at a council meeting yesterday, the decision follows positive results in a prior, smaller demolition project. This scheme encompassed approximately 1,700 of the low-rise prefabricated buildings known throughout the post-Soviet space as “Khrushchyovki”, named after the then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

“Many people in Moscow are still living uncomfortably in ancient housing, to put it mildly,” Mr Sobyanin reported to city councillors, adding that, such was the dire state of the buildings, that it would make more sense to simply demolish them rather than attempt refurbishment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his support at a meeting with Mr Sobyanin on Tuesday.

The expected completion date for the project, which will necessitate huge spending and changes to federal law, is not yet known. Mr Sobyanin, however, has given the city authorities a 1-month deadline to propose sites for new housing and has announced that he will personally chair the committee overseeing the building designs.

Source: BBC News