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    RUSSIA TO BUILD 80 MLN SQ. METRES OF HOUSING BY 2010

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    MOSCOW, January 27, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Yevgeny Yakuta) - Russia is going to boost housing construction and build up to 80 square metres of housing by 2010, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Yakovlev said at a conference devoted to issues of the development of mortgage crediting.

    Today, Russia constructs twice as little housing as in Soviet times, noted Mr Yakovlev. In 1986, 76 million sq. metres of housing were commissioned, while only 36 million sq. metres were commissioned in 2003.

    According to opinion surveys, 77% of Russian nationals want to improve their housing conditions, whereas only 1.2% of the population can afford to buy housing. As little as 1.5% of Russian families buy housing every year, while 0.3% of them get housing at the state's expense, according to the data cited by Mr Yakovlev.

    He said the government should provide "tools and conditions" for people to help them buy flats. This means that the government should provide an appropriate legal base, promote the development of the housing and the affordable mortgage loan markets, and improve people's paying capacity, said the deputy prime-minister.

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