17 июня 2014 15:51

Kazakhstanis will wait for housing for a lifetime: Senator


 ©Turar Kazangapov ©Turar Kazangapov

Kazakhstanis will have to wait for the government to solve their housing problems for their entire life., Tengrinews quotes Senator Kuanysh Aitakhanov as saying.

Kazakhstanis will have to wait for the government to solve their housing problems for their entire life., Tengrinews quotes Senator Kuanysh Aitakhanov as saying.

With the current pace of implementation of the state-rum housing programs, Kazakhstanis may have to wait for a lifetime to get a piece of land for individual housing construction, Kuanysh Aitakhanov said at the plenary session of the Senate, the upper chamber of the Kazakhstan Parliament, after the Government and Accounts Committee for State Budget Performance Control reported on the 2013 state budget performance.

"As of July 1, 2013 ZhilStroySber Bank (housing construction savings bank of Kazakhstan) failed to use $226 million out of $311 million allocated by the state budget, hence 72% of the funding remain unused," the Senator said.

“One of the effective ways to address the issue of housing in our country is through individual housing construction, but it is also not up to the standard. Last year, 6.8 million square meters of housing was commissioned, 3.5 million of which or 52 percent was individual housing. This is not enough for Kazakhstan. If it goes this way, then we will need at least another 50 years. But there are so many people awaiting an opportunity to get a housing," Kuanysh Aitakhanov said.

According to the Senator, to solve the housing problem the government first of all needs to fine-tune the system of allocation of land for individual housing construction. 

Under the current rules "only the land lots that have access to utilities infrastructure (electricity, water, sewage) can be allocated for individual construction purposes," that is why although Kazakhstan has a very large land area, land lots are not being handed over to people to construct their houses on, he explained. 

On the one hand making construction of utilities infrastructure a responsibility of state authorities serves for the benefit of the citizens, but on the other hand this hinders them from enjoying their constitutional right to own a lot of land to construct a private house on, the Senator said.

In 2013, $340 million was allocated from the budget for development of utilities infrastructure as part of the housing construction program. But only 30 percent of the funds were used. According to the Senator, the Government had to allocate more funds for construction of infrastructure and speed up implementation of the program. In addition, he called it to consider introducing a new law to improve transparency of the land allocation procedures in Kazakhstan.

"We must not forget that housing is an important social aspect affecting the country's demography," Kuanysh Aitakhanov said.

According to the Kazakhstan legislation, every citizen is eligible for free 1000 square meters of land from the Government to construct a house. So people in Kazakhstan are entering their names onto the waiting lists. 

However, there is a number of conditions that make the land eligible for distribution quite limited: the land should be suitable for living and be within the range of power lines and utilities and the city that the land belongs to should be ready for more residents. Besides, those who get the land are supposed to live there - actually build a house - not just keep the land hoping to sell it at a high price when the time comes.

One becomes the legitimate owner of the land only after commissioning the house. Before that, the use of land is carried out under the temporary use.

Another barrier is that the allocated land is supposed to be used during the first half of the year, but if one does not manage to construct the house during this time, the person will have to apply for extension of the leasing period. However, If there is no construction going on over 2 years, the Government has a right to cease the land back.

Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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