Maternity capital unfrozen for social mortgage
Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin simplified the purchase of housing from cooperatives, freeing them from the obligation to register in the EGRN with a land plot
Moscow met Rustam Minnikhanov halfway, who stood up for the republican social mortgage programme, which was almost “strangled” because of federal excesses. This week, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved amendments to the government decree, which actually unfreeze almost 2 billion rubles of Tatarstan mother capital, stuck in the accounts of the Pension Fund. As a result of the liberalisation of conditions, more than 4 thousand Tatarstan families will have the opportunity, as before, to pay for social housing. According to Ruslan Sadriev, the vice-president of the Guild of Realtors of the Republic of Tatarstan, consumer demand is increasingly shifting towards affordable housing.
Stroim Buduschee cooperative given the green light
From July 1 of this year, participants of the republican social mortgage programme will have the opportunity to reanimate maternity capital to pay contributions for housing purchased under this programme 2-3 years ago. On June 22, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved amendments to the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 862 “On the Rules for Directing Maternity Capital Funds to improve housing conditions” (defines the federal rules for spending maternity capital — editor's note), by simplifying the purchase of housing in cooperatives with the help of maternity capital.
In fact, we are talking about the cooperative Stroim Buduschee under the State Housing Fund under the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, through which the sale of social housing is carried out. There are just no other similar cooperatives in the country. How has the purchase of housing been simplified? As stated in the resolution, “now citizens wishing to invest maternity capital in the purchase of a cooperative apartment will no longer need to provide the Pension Fund with a certificate of rights to the land on which the house is being built or will be built”.
However, an important caveat is made here. This exception applies to those cases “when the guarantor of the cooperative is a regional non-profit organisation for housing construction”. Obviously, in this capacity, the operator of the programme is meant — NGO “GZHF under the President of the Republic of Tatarstan”.
Mishustin responded to the “requests of the heads of regions”
Exceptions to the general rules were made “at the request of the heads of regions”, Mikhail Mishustin said in a comment.
“This is due to that a number of subjects have their own regional programmes, where land plots for social construction are transferred for free use," it is noted in the explanation. “For this reason, cooperatives accumulate citizens' funds and do not have rights to land. According to the previous rules, it was difficult to invest maternity capital in the purchase of such housing, and now these difficulties have been resolved and simplify the purchase of social housing through cooperatives.
Tightening the screws to the gray cashiers
Let us remind that Tatarstan families participating in the social mortgage programme faced the inability to pay for housing with maternity capital in October 2020. Then the Pension Fund of Russia stopped transferring it to the account of the cooperative “Building the Future” at the GZHF, effectively freezing the money of families in their accounts. By that time, the federal authorities had tightened the conditions for spending the mother capital. For example, a commercial developer, when concluding purchase and sale agreements, is obliged to own a land plot, and a family intending to invest maternity capital is obliged to provide the Pension Fund with a certificate of the developer's rights to the land plot. Only in this case, the Pension Fund has the right to transfer the maternity capital to the developer's account.
This scheme is designed to protect the interests of the child from “gray” schemes with cashing out of the maternity capital. It is no secret that such fraudulent transactions flourished in the early years of the issuance of maternity capital in the country. Therefore, two years ago, the new procedure for writing off maternity capital was updated, and the “land obligation” was fixed in the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1706 “On Amendments to the rules for directing maternity capital funds to improve housing conditions”
“Stroil Buduschee cooperative a priori cannot be listed in the EGRN
But, as they say, there were some overzealousness. Stroim Buduschee cooperative under the GZHF did not meet the general formal rules, and the money of several thousand families of the programme participants was suspended on the accounts of the Pension Fund. According to the GZHF, we are talking about the amount of more than 2 billion rubles. Social mortgager began to complain to the State Housing Fund, and then to the State Council of Tatarstan.
In search of a way out, the GZHF proposed to exempt regional cooperatives from the obligation to register ownership of land and be registered in the EGRN. The Parliament of the Republic and the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov addressed Mikhail Mishustin with this initiative.
“Stroim Buduschee cooperative under the State Housing Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan, with which Tatarstan families conclude a social mortgage agreement, a priori cannot be listed in the EGRN with the right of ownership of land for housing under construction," the press service of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan explained to Realnoe Vremya. “In addition, the State Housing Fund under the President of Tatarstan is not in the register of banking institutions, which also imposed a veto on payments for 'children's metres'.
As a result of federal innovations, the social mortgage programme, which had been in effect for 25 years in Tatarstan, could actually be buried without financial support from the mother capital. Not all families decided to buy a social housing, as it remained unclear whether the maternity capital would be accepted as payment. Moreover, those who had maternity capital — the only chance to improve living conditions — did not want to take risks.
Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation objected most of all
The passage of the “Tatarstan amendment” in federal structures was difficult. Initially, it was simply put under the cloth, and only after the persistent intervention of the head of the republic, federal restrictions were taken to work out, sources told Realnoe Vremya. The Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation objected especially strongly, but by spring its position had softened.
“GZHF, in simple words, is not a shady company, but a serious company that has been working in the housing market for 25 years," Bulat Gilmanov, the deputy executive director of the GZHF under the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, told during communication with citizens. As a result of a long debate, the federal authorities have simplified the purchase of housing from cooperatives.
From July 1, 2022, more than 4,000 families of Tatarstan will have the opportunity to use the funds of the maternal (family) capital to purchase housing under the social mortgage programme. As reported in the press service of the GZHF, the cost of 1 sq. the cost of housing in Kazan is 54-56 thousand rubles, which is almost 2,5 times lower than the commercial price. In total, before the introduction of federal restrictions, from 2005 to 2020, GZHF received 7,5 billion rubles of maternity capital.
“The social mortgage agreement of the family with the GZHF and the cooperative Stroim Buduschee remains in force," Gilmanov said. “During July, the GZHF will re-register the ownership of residential buildings to the cooperative Stroim Buduschee, after which the family will have the opportunity to get a certificate for the Pension Fund.
According to him, from July 15-20, participants of the programme will be able to apply to the offices of the State Housing Fund for a certificate.
“Now the situation in the housing market is being tense, they are trying to somehow revive”
“At one time, maternity capital was not always used correctly, many illegal schemes were revealed, all sorts of loopholes appeared for unscrupulous businessmen," says Yury Chikirov, the director general of REAGENT. “Perhaps they got into a hot hand, and everything was banned. And now the situation in the housing market is being tense, they are trying to somehow revive and, apparently, they decided to loosen the excessively tightened screws. After all, it is necessary to let people buy housing, and the construction complex to work.
Ruslan Sadreev, the vice-president of the Guild of Realtors of the Republic of Tatarstan, believes that the social library does not create competition for commercial developers, but agrees that people are looking for affordable housing.
“After the price increase, you can't even buy one room with maternity capital," says Ruslan Sadreev. “But they seem to say that they plan to raise up to 800 thousand rubles, then the family will definitely be able to buy a one-room apartment in Kazan.