Household Transformation and Housing
It is housing problems that become one of the reasons for the transformation of Russian households. Thus, the report of Ksenia Abanokova “Russian households: evolution of structure and consumption” emphasizes that recently the classical model of a household consisting of parents and minor children living under the same roof has been replaced by either a single residence or living in a complex family - with older relatives, parents of a wife or husband, other relatives. According to the researcher, only from 1989 to 2010 years the proportion of traditional families (that is, parents plus minor children) decreased from 77% to 67% of households. The number of single-person households increased by 19%. From 23% to 33%, the number of families with a complex composition has increased (parents plus adult children, older relatives, brothers and sisters, etc.). Such a phenomenon as a decrease in the number of traditional families in the household structure is a specific response to the deterioration of the material well-being of the Russian population. Most often, couples prefer to secede from older relatives, and if this separation does not occur, then in most cases - due to lack of financial ability to disconnect. After all, not every Russian family, especially at a young age, can afford to buy their own housing. On the other hand, the very fact of creating a family is often associated with the existence of conditions for creating a family. Meanwhile, many Russians simply have nowhere to bring a wife or husband, no place to have children, and the opportunity to take a mortgage or even rent a house is also far from being present in every family. Again, in a large city, housing rental prices are high and often comparable to salaries, in small cities prices are significantly lower, but unemployment is a serious factor in the obstacles to renting housing. It also forces migrants from small towns to migrate in search of work to larger cities, where they also have to spend substantial funds on rental housing and often cannot afford to acquire a family.
In sociological science, such a process is called the term "antinuclearization of the family." For modern Russia, antinuclearization is characteristic due to the influence of several factors. Firstly, this is a very strong rise in prices for housing, especially in large cities, which makes its purchase virtually impossible for most families of average and, especially, of small income. Mortgage becomes the only way out for many young families, but not everything is smooth here, given the huge interest payments on the mortgage loan, as well as the lack of stable work and stable incomes for a large number of Russian citizens. As a result, many young families are unable to purchase their own housing, even through a mortgage loan, and are forced to live with the older relatives of the husband or wife. Naturally, this very model of family life organization is unhealthy and very often entails numerous domestic conflicts that ultimately can lead to family discord and break up of families. Finally, even the majority of parental families are limited in living space and live in two-bedroom apartments, which directly affects the ability of young families to have children. If one child can be grown up as a parent in a “twin”, then with two, and even more so with three, it is already much more difficult. Moreover, the expansion of the young family here is very closely dependent on the opinions of parents and if the latter are against the birth of new children, they can easily influence the reproductive behavior of their adult children, which is also not a normal phenomenon. But for young families, deprived of the opportunity to purchase their own housing, there is no other way out, and they are forced to live with their parents - often up to middle age, before the physical death of the latter, followed by the inheritance of the apartment into ownership (and even if it is not to be shared with other relatives).
The second factor in the antinuclearization of families in modern Russia is the “infantilization” of the young generation, as a result of which adult children, after coming of age, choose to live with their parents for themselves, even if they have the opportunity to stay. Social growth in the modern world occurs much later than before, and in 22-25 years, or even 30 years, many young people continue to live with their parents and, accordingly, do not create their own households. They are also pushed towards this choice by the possibility of maintaining their freedom from family ties, including financial as well as temporary, for a longer time. However, there is an obvious correlation with high housing prices. Living with parents is obviously much cheaper than renting an apartment, taking it as a mortgage. Even if there is money to buy a home, then you can rent a home and maintain a higher standard of living, or not to buy a home, but to spend money for other purposes. Thus, in the majority of Russian families, the accommodation of adult children with parents or other older relatives, in one way or another, has financial grounds. By the way, it is financial issues that often become decisive in terms of breeding offspring - to have a family now “expensive”, therefore many Russians of both sexes prefer to delay the time of marriage and, especially, of childbearing, as far as possible. Naturally, the birth of the first child in adulthood ultimately affects the number of potential children in a particular family or in a particular woman. That is, the dependence of the demographic situation in the country on solving the financial and housing problems of the population is being established. Despite the fact that recently the state has taken certain steps towards stimulating fertility, they can be considered insufficient.
The housing issue under capitalism and socialism
The problem of providing the population with affordable housing is as old as the world. With the development of urbanization and industrialization, a significant part of the rural population rushed to the cities, which led to an increased concentration of the population in the cities and, accordingly, in the emergence of the phenomenon of "housing needs" (this term was introduced by Frederick Engels). Build housing in the city by independent forces has always been much more difficult than in the countryside - both because of the lack of a large amount of free land, the need for an expensive supply of communications, and because of the need to obtain various permits for the construction of housing. Also, the urban population, for the most part regularly employed and employed at work, simply does not have free time for self-build housing. Thus, the problem of housing in the cities has always been much more acute than in the countryside. This problem was especially actualized with the formation of the modern appearance of the cities, that is, with the beginning of the construction of apartment buildings. Housing construction in capitalist countries is carried out mainly by private companies in order to extract profits from the sale of built apartments. However, in this situation, that part of the population that does not have the necessary financial resources to purchase their own housing remains “on the street” - that is, it is forced to rent housing. In the modern world, conditions have been created for acquiring housing in a mortgage or by installments, which requires families or individual apartment buyers to have a stable income and the opportunity to pay a certain amount of money to lenders for a long time. On the other hand, the dependence of a person on the mortgage in the modern world acts as a guarantee of his obedience as an employee. The threat of being unemployed, losing the ability to repay a loan, implies a possible loss of mortgage housing, which makes the mortgage buyer more comfortable and obedient to an employee who is afraid of losing his job and agreeing to low wages and other unsatisfactory working conditions.
The significance of the housing problem in a capitalist society was covered by Friedrich Engels, whose works on the position of the working class are considered fundamental. According to Engels, the main problems in the field of housing are crowded resettlement and poor sanitary conditions of the working class. Over the past century since the life of the classic Marxism, over and over, the living conditions in the cities, of course, have changed. But the possibility of acquiring their own housing has also become more complicated. As a result, a large number of workers were forced to rent housing, but this created additional financial difficulties, since not all families could afford to allocate substantial funds from the family budget for rental housing. There have been examples of the construction of charitable housing, but the full solution to the housing problems of the population has followed only in countries that have chosen the socialist path of development. The socialist way of solving the housing problem is truly unique, since it has no analogues in capitalist countries. If before the October Revolution 1917, the housing problem was solved in the same way as in other countries - people either bought housing with their own money or built it themselves, rented a house or huddled in the premises provided by employers, then after the revolution a stunning experiment was made to provide the population with housing. The expropriation of the housing stock of the wealthy strata of the population in the first post-revolutionary years and then, after giving up the “new economic policy”, made it possible to resolve the issue of providing housing to broad strata of the population. Many mansions that belonged to the aristocracy and the merchants, as well as to the wealthy burghers, were turned into apartment buildings, which made it possible to settle in them a huge number of people in need of housing.
Soviet housing policy
In the Soviet Union, and later in other socialist countries of the world, massive construction of social housing was carried out, distributed among all citizens in need of it. It began as early as 1920, when construction of houses for specialists and industrial workers, for military personnel began, and gained a truly massive scale in 1960, 1980, when the entire Soviet Union was built up with typical "Khrushchev" and "Brezhnevkah". The latter, in their turn, were settled by families of very different social levels and material wealth moving from the barracks and communal apartments. As a result, the problem of “homelessness” of the working population was practically eradicated in the USSR. Practically all Soviet citizens — residents of cities, with the exception of representatives of the “social bottom”, who led the antisocial lifestyle, thus became owners of apartments or, at least, rooms in hostels. Moreover, citizens were provided with housing based on the composition of the family, which allowed families with several children to receive three-four-room apartments. The housing was provided and representatives of the lower social groups who took jobs in enterprises. At the very least, they got rooms in communal apartments and hostels. It can be said that by 1980. The housing problem in the USSR was largely resolved. It is in Soviet housing that most of the country's population currently lives, and even those who have purchased apartments in new houses, to a large extent used to acquire them the resources of Soviet housing — their own or their parents. However, up to the present, the question of providing decent housing for residents of emergency and dilapidated houses, as well as houses devoid of modern amenities, remains relevant. Indeed, even in large cities of Russia, up to the present, one can find a significant number of residential buildings without central water supply, sewage and even gas. This creates a particularly negative contrast compared to a new, comfortable housing being commissioned. And the situation when people living next door to new homes in the infrastructure of the last century is inadmissible, since it contributes to the deepening of social inequality and deprivation of the population, is a fertile ground for the spread of socially negative, radical and extremist attitudes among a part of the population.
Attempts to provide the entire population of the country with more or less decent housing were undertaken at the sunset of the Soviet period stories. Then the general secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Mikhail Gorbachev, stated a goal - to provide each Soviet family with a separate apartment by the year of 2000. However, this goal, as we can clearly see, was never achieved. One of the main reasons was the collapse of the socialist system, after which the solution to their housing problems began to be positioned as the cause of each individual family and each individual person. Of course, even in the Soviet period, the housing problem was not completely resolved - a huge number of Soviet citizens continued to live in emergency and dilapidated housing, in “communal apartments” and rooms in dormitories, they retained a formal residence permit in orphanages, boarding schools, penitentiaries. However, it is difficult to disagree with the fact that obvious efforts were made to solve the housing problem, and these efforts were extremely effective. New cities and towns were built, entire districts and neighborhoods were commissioned in old cities. In fact, most of the housing stock in many cities of the country was built during the Soviet period - and this is one of the most important services of the Soviet government to the peoples of the republics that were part of the Soviet Union. By the way, the Soviet model of solving the housing problem has become a model for the implementation of similar policies in a number of countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, which have chosen the socialist path of development.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition of Russia to a market economy, of course, affected the state of solving the housing problems of the population. In the first years of reform, there was practically no state distribution of housing and a housing market, since until 1995, only 4-13% of apartments were in private ownership. The rest of the first five years of reform have not yet been privatized. The bulk of housing deals during this period was carried out through exchanges, while the supply significantly exceeded the demand, since a large number of people wanted to change their conditions by moving to a new place of residence or receiving funds for reducing living space, but people still did not have an adequate level of welfare , allowing to acquire real estate. The situation began to change in the process of further development of the market economy and increasing the welfare of the population. The privatization of housing also played a big role in the development of the housing market and increasing the well-being of the population, since people were able to inherit their family’s apartments, sell them, rent them out, that is, housing turned into a real commodity, and high housing prices guaranteed well-being to the “lucky ones” who had extra housing, inherited from relatives or acquired for the purpose of investing. It is the period from the middle of 1990's. and until the first half of the 2000's. was most favorable for citizens in terms of housing, because housing prices have not yet jumped to an extremely high level and left the possibility of middle-income citizens to purchase housing. In the middle of 2000's. began a rapid rise in housing prices caused by currency inflation. At the same time, commercial housing construction intensified, and the mortgage market began to develop, which also contributed to the growth in housing affordability for the population groups that had no opportunity to purchase housing with their own financial resources.
How is the solution to the housing problem
By the middle of the 2000s, when the socio-economic situation of the Russian Federation was significantly stabilized, the country's leadership returned to forgotten Soviet ideas about solving the housing problems of the population. As early as September 2005, the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, during a meeting with the government, regional leaders and members of parliament, said that it was necessary to implement the Affordable and Comfortable Housing - for Russian Citizens project. In 2008, it was decided to transform the project into a state program, but the actual solution of the tasks posed by this project did not happen. First, the economic problems associated with the crisis contributed to this, and secondly, the state actually lacked adequate resources for the implementation of this project. In particular, it was envisaged already in 2010 to increase the volume of commissioning of new housing to 80 million square meters. meters It was supposed to solve the problem of reducing the deterioration of the housing stock in the cities and villages of the Russian Federation, improving the quality of public services. However, none of these problems was resolved, since the commissioning of new housing in 2010 amounted to only 58,1 million square meters. meters, and the depreciation of the housing stock has not decreased and was 60%. There are still a lot of questions about the quality of housing and communal services provided to the population, who are still dissatisfied with the large number of Russian citizens who are owners and tenants of housing. More or less, the issue was resolved only with the provision of separate and comfortable housing for such a category of citizens as veterans of the Great Patriotic War, but they are becoming less and less every year, so the solution to this problem is no longer as difficult as 10-20 years ago .
Despite the fact that the living conditions of Russians, of course, are improving, a huge number of our citizens continue to exist in unworthy conditions. First, there is a huge number of homeless people, as well as “potential” homeless people - people who have registration in “state-owned” institutions. Secondly, hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens continue to live in rooms with little accommodation for comfortable living - from construction trailers to the nomadic dwellings of the peoples of the North. Finally, despite the fact that the resettlement of communal apartments began in Soviet times, in recent years the number of inhabitants of communal apartments began to increase. Communal rooms have again become housing in demand by Russians, especially in large cities, as immigrants arriving from the “province” and many urban young families and individuals cannot afford to buy or even rent isolated housing. There is one more problem - the presence of people who formally have a residence permit and even are owners of shares in parent or family apartments, but in fact they live in rented apartments for life, because they cannot afford to buy their own housing, but they cannot even live in parent apartments due to the small area of the latter. The question of providing Russian citizens with the necessary number of square meters for each family member remains very acute. Many families with children, including two, three and a large number of children, live in one-room apartments, “hotels” and “communal apartments”, in rooms in dormitories, practically unable to correct their housing situation and purchase a roomy housing that allows comfortable the existence of all family members. About 12% of Russian families continue to live in three, and even four of them in one room and even in a part of the room. According to the provisions of the United Nations, this indicates that this housing is “slum”, that is, not intended for a comfortable and dignified existence of modern man.
Emergency Fund - Putin ordered to resettle
The problem of dilapidated and emergency housing is very relevant for modern Russia. In 2013, the total housing stock of the Russian Federation was 3,3 billion square meters. Of these, 100 mln. Sq.m. accounted for emergency and dilapidated housing. These are huge numbers. Especially, if we take into account that not all really emergency and dilapidated houses are brought by municipal services to the relevant registries, since this implies additional troubles for local authorities. In accordance with the law, emergency houses should be resettled in the first place, but where should people be resettled if housing construction in Russia is carried out at a slow pace, and commercial structures building new houses are not interested in providing housing for displaced persons from the emergency fund . In the same 2013, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has already expressed dissatisfaction with the small and slow pace of resettlement of Russians from emergency housing to comfortable apartments, since by 2013, thousands of Russian citizens were planned to be settled in 42, but in reality only thousands of citizens were resettled in 1,5. The head of the Russian state was assigned the task of 1 September 2017, to solve the issue of resettlement of Russian citizens from emergency housing, but it is not yet clear whether it can be solved? It is supposed to settle out of 11 million square meters. emergency housing meters about 777 thousand people. 6 May 2014 approved a set of measures to eliminate emergency housing stock in the Russian Federation, within which specific indicators were approved for the total area and total number of citizens of the Russian Federation to be resettled. The Ministry of Construction was tasked with creating new mechanisms for the resettlement of the emergency fund, recognized as such after 1 in January of 2012. However, it is clear that the implementation of this set of measures will face a number of difficulties. After all, the pace of construction remains low, and the crisis of the end of 2014 - the beginning of 2015. significantly affected the state of the Russian economy, including housing. In this context, a very serious problem for the Russian state is the almost complete absence of the practice of building social housing, which is addressed by many countries of the world. After all, a large part of Russians, due to the insignificance of their incomes, cannot even afford to purchase their own apartments, including through mortgage lending. Accordingly, the only hope for them is government support. A certain step in this direction was made through the introduction of maternity capital, which can be spent on the purchase of housing, including the payment of the mortgage contribution. However, the size of the maternity capital - about half a million rubles - does not allow to buy him even a room in a communal apartment in a large city.
Of course, such an inattentive attitude to the housing issue not only affects the comfort of life of Russian citizens, but also gives rise to many social problems. The most serious of them is demographic. For many Russians, the absence of their own living space and the possibility of its acquisition in the foreseeable future becomes an obstacle to the creation of a family, to having a child, not to mention the number of children, sufficient for reproduction of the population. To say that it is possible to move to a “province”, where cheaper housing means to bump into demagogy, since in most provincial cities, not to mention rural areas, there are no jobs, the necessary social infrastructure is at an extremely low level of development. The fact that today many Russian families live in their own housing, which gives them the opportunity to bear and raise children, is a consequence of the achievements of the Soviet housing policy, since a significant portion of the population “eats” the fruits of the Soviet era - uses the housing fund “Khrushchev”, “Brezhnevok” , "Stalinok", inherited from older generations of relatives. However, the time limit for the permissible operation of these buildings is coming to an end, the housing and communal infrastructure is wearing out, which suggests that the housing problems facing the country will be deepened in the near future. So, as of the beginning of 2013, there were more than 1,6 million apartment buildings in the country, which had wear from 30 to 65% and, accordingly, needed immediate overhaul. About 45 million people live in such houses - almost a third of the total population of the Russian Federation. At the same time, the total amount of housing stock with a degree of depreciation of more than 66% is 56,9 million square meters. meters, including 38,4 million square meters. meters of housing stock was recognized as decrepit and 18,6 million - emergency. Sooner or later, the authorities will also ask about the need for resettlement of the gradually dilapidated Soviet housing stock, which can only be done in the context of the development of mass housing construction, and not “point building”, but building in whole blocks and microdistricts, as was done in Soviet times.
"Enclaves of poverty" and "depressed" populated areas
Another problem that inevitably follows from the preservation of dilapidated housing stock is the “ghettoization” and “marginalization” of urban space. Today, in many large cities, the old districts, especially those built up with pre-revolutionary houses, are considered to be unfavorable for comfortable living. They remain those people who can not afford to buy a new home, and even the sale of old and purchase at the expense of the proceeds from at least small apartments in more comfortable areas. Among these people there is a high percentage of socially maladapted, marginal citizens. This creates a certain social background in such areas, affects the quality of life of the urban population and the state of the urban environment as a whole. On the other hand, such areas are actively settled by the low-income part of foreign labor migrants, migrants from the province, which makes them into a kind of “enclaves” of social disadvantage. Finally, people living in dilapidated and emergency houses directly threaten their safety - life and health. Frequent cases of fires in such houses, the collapse of walls and ceilings, which, including, claim and lives. Can Russia risk its population so much? It is obvious that the lack of a developed practice of responsibility of municipal and regional authorities for the tragic accidents in the emergency housing stock contributes to the “inhibition” of the solution of the housing problem of the Russians. Therefore, it is advisable to tighten state control over the solution of the problem of resettlement of Russian citizens from dilapidated and emergency housing, with appropriate sanctions against unfairly working and sabotaging decisions of federal authorities of employees of regional and municipal authorities, responsible control instances.
Finally, one should also address the problem of solving the problems of “depressed” cities, towns, and rural settlements in which accommodation is uncomfortable precisely because of the lack of a developed infrastructure and mass unemployment. It is known that the collapse of the industry that followed in the 1990-ies, had a negative impact not only on the country's economy, but also on its demographics. Internal migration flows have increased due to the exacerbation of the uneven development of the Russian regions, individual urban and rural settlements. Natives of “depressed” populated areas, not having employment opportunities at the place of residence, are forced to leave for more prosperous cities and regions. There they create a stir in the housing market, increasing the cost of renting housing, but in “depressed” localities, houses and apartments are empty. Even at low prices to sell an apartment or house in such a village is very problematic - due to the lack of buyers who do not even consider the possibility of acquiring housing in a city or village with a lack of working places, an undeveloped infrastructure of education, health care, leisure and entertainment, numerous social problems, including alcoholization and drug use of the population, the increase in crime caused by mass unemployment and the “hopelessness” of the local population. Living in such settlements is simply uncomfortable for their residents, and most importantly - unpromising. The only way to solve this problem is the revival of industry and agriculture of the country, including in the "province". However, so far we have not seen the pace of the accelerated emergence of new industrial enterprises, the development of agriculture, that is, it is extremely premature to talk about solving the problem in the foreseeable future.
The solution to the housing problems of modern Russia is inextricably linked with the general increase in the level of economic development of the country, with the overcoming of negative trends associated with the lack of efficiency of the local authorities and administration. In February, 2015, a meeting of the Presidium of the State Council of the Russian Federation was held, dedicated to the socio-economic situation in the regions of the country. Following the meeting, President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin signed a number of instructions, including an order concerning the solution of the problem of the resettlement of Russian citizens from emergency housing. It was entrusted to ensure the unconditional implementation of regional programs for the resettlement of citizens from emergency housing, while it was decided to maintain the amount of state financial support in 2015. Before 30 on April 2016, regional leaders of the Russian Federation must submit reports on how the problem of relocating Russian citizens from emergency housing stock and providing those resettled with new comfortable housing is being resolved. Indeed, over the last five years, 5,5 million square meters of emergency housing have been eliminated, about half a million Russian citizens were resettled and received new comfortable apartments. But how many more emergency and, in particular, dilapidated residential buildings remain in operation? I would like to hope that the top leadership of the Russian state is really concerned about the solution of the housing problems of the Russians and will make efforts to further improve the quality of life of the population. Moreover, one of the main tasks in the general direction of ensuring national security and state sovereignty of the Russian Federation - demographic growth - also depends on the solution of the housing problem.