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Ilyushina street house tenants met Alexander Govorunov, Saint Petersburg Vice Governor, and discussed their problems

A group of the tenants living in house 15/2 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, had a meeting with Mr. Alexander Govorunov, one of the city Vice Governors, according to the information provided by the Ilyushina house tenants group.

Following the numerous actions staged by the tenants of this infamous house protesting evictions perpetrated  by some local construction developers and district and city officials, the City Government and its officials seem to have refocused their attention on the problem of evictions in Saint Petersburg.

During the meeting, Mr. Govorunov admitted to the mistakes made by the City authorities.

As the follow-up of the meeting, Vice-Governor committed the Head of the City Government Committee for Housing to find the solution to the many year long ordeals of the Ilyushina tenants through granting the tenants with new municipal apartments on the social rent basis.

One of the conditions of this solution is that the new housing space should not be less and more adverse for the tenants than the space they have been occupying by now.

The tenants were asked to get all the documents testifying their individual cases prepared, with all the information on their work records and background of their previous housing. These personal cases and histories are to be handed over to the City Government for review.

In sum, the Ilyushina house tenants assess the outcome of the recent meeting in a different way. Some of them are ‘’cautiously’’ optimistic; they have already seen and heard lots of promises given the authorities and not delivered. Some are still apprehensive and not inclined to believe that the city Government is likely to do anything positive for them.

The 15/2 house in Ilyyushina street, Saint Petersburg, was constructed by the defunct ‘’GlavLeningradStroy’’ state run company in 1991. The main target beneficiaries of the construction were the company workers.

The house was officially owned by the state, and all the apartments in there were to be provided to the construction workers on the so called ‘’social rent agreements’’, which was part of the state practices at that time.

However, the history of the house turned out to be more complex. The general contractor, the Forth Trust company, accommodated the people eligible for the housing in the house which had the status of a dormitory but not a city apartment house.

In the mid 1990 ies, during the major privatization programs implemented in Russia, the Forth Trust company managed to have their private property right for the house and every apartment in it registered through some illegal schemes which apparently involved corrupt officials and ‘’civil servants’’.

Beginning from 2004, the new owner began selling the apartments in the house on the market. Since 2007, the Forth Trust company began also to evict the tenants from the then dormitory located in Ilyushina street, 15/2, but the tenants have bitterly resisted the evictions.

They have staged a number of protest actions in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, with the month long hunger strike held in early 2013.

They demand that the City Government work out a solution which would be acceptable for both the tenants and all the stakeholders.


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