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Open letter to President Russia Federation

To the president of the Russian Federation
Dmitri Medvedev
23, Il’yinka street
103132 Moscow Russia
 
To the speaker of the Government of the Russian Federation
Vladimir Putin
2, Krasnopresnenskaya embankment
 
To the speaker of the State Duma
Boris Grizlov
1 Ohotniy R’ad street,
103265 Moscow
 
To Yuri Chaika
General Prosecutor’s Office
15a, Bol’shaya Dmitrovka street,
125993 GSP-Z, Moscow, Russia
 
Alexander Bastrikin
6, building 2, Baumanskaya street
Moscow
 
 
 
Open address
 
Defending rights and legal interests of the citizens that participate in shared construction (construction of apartment buildings co-financed by the future property owners) of apartment buildings who suffered from deliberate non-fulfillment of obligations by the unconscientious investment companies and developers is one of the most important missions of the authorities, considering the fact that mass deception of shared construction participants in Russia assumed catastrophic character.
 
On December 30, 2004 the Law on shared construction (214 Federal Law) was adopted which imposed the value added tax on the circulation of rights of investment (shared) participation in housing construction, which did not exist until December 30, 2004. As a result, real estate developers lost part of profitability or liquidity, as financiers call it. At that time a lot of construction projects were carried out without any initial enabling documentation and in some cases without authorization for construction. However, the houses were built. After the adoption of the Law the construction without documents became just impossible. Mass embezzlement of the money of the citizens who participated in shared housing construction has started. It was neglected to provide in the Law for the financial regulation and the control mode of the use of the money of the citizens (who invested in construction) by development companies, and other participants of the constructed house market, such a control mode which is provided for all the professional participants of the real estate market.
 
Thus, the state has got taxes from that sector and continues getting them (eventually at the expense of the citizens) but it has forgotten to carry out its responsibilities for its regulation, which means that it has forgotten to protect taxpayers. But how accidental is this forgetfulness?
 
Active work on overcoming the consequences of the building crisis is conducted in most regions of the country in framework of fulfillment of the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation. However, the working parties that were created on different levels failed to achieve cardinal solution of the problem over a period of four years. Having seen no positive signs of resolution of the situation in their construction sites, the deceived shared construction participants organized in September 2009 an Interregional social movement for “Protecting rights of the participants in housing construction”. For coordination of the work of this movement and for public awareness of the current situation in the problem sites an information internet site of the movement was created – odnodolshiki.ru
 
The information based on the data of some officials on the federal level that some other Russian officials and deputies can be concerned with the problems of shared construction participants has appeared in some of the print and electronic media.
 
In his speech during the plenary meeting of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on April 14, 2010 Alexander Hinshtein said: “Colleagues, we have a deputy of the State Duma Mikhail Hesin who, I do not understand how, can combine parliamentary and construction work. Today we have quite a few problem sites that were built by Hesin where there are deceived shared construction participants. Hesin made commitments to provide the deceived shared construction participants with apartments, for example in the Akademika Pilyugina street, and he gave those assurances first-hand in the office of the mayor of Moscow. I was present there, signed the documents, but people still have no flats both in houses in the Pilyugina and Istrinskaya streets. There are more than 500 people”.
 
(From the “United Russia” website: http://www.edinros.ru/text.shtml?13/1613,100022).
 
Why does the prosecution office not check the statement of the State Duma deputy Alexander Hinstein? I am asking for an investigation of this statement.
 
On April 5, 2010 chairman of the “Yabloko” faction Sergey Mitrochin told on the twentieh minute of the programme “Slovo za slovo” about the shared construction participants of Tuschino. An investment contract for developing the Southern Tuschino 11 micro-district was signed by the former Moscow vice-mayor Valeriy Shantsev and the “Dinamo” company. The investment contract does not stipulate any responsibility to the shared construction participants. Among the establishers of the “Dinamo” company are Rashid Nurgaliev, Yuri Chayka, Nikolai Patrushev and other famous people (internet link to the record of the programme: http://www.kzpg-info.ru/pressa2/problems100410.htm). There are 1500 families of shared construction participants in Tuschino (data from the internet site odnodolshiki.ru).
 
According to the statements of shared construction participants from Domodedovo (http://www.compromat.ru/page_28929.htm) the State Duma deputy Marina Ignatova owns the companies ZAO “Gruppa Kompaniy “Druzhba” and OOO “Upravl’ayushaya Stroitel’naya Kompaniya “Druzhba”. In both companies Marina Ignatova owns 100% of shares. The company is building a residential district in Domodedovo, the Moscow Region. A lot of houses are still incomplete, 1000 families can not get their flats. Marina Ignatova is a member of the working party of the Presidium of the General Council of the “United Russia” party for the protection of rights of depositors and shared construction participants (http://so-investor.ru/?page=so&subcat=wg). How can it be so?
 
Alexander Kosovan is the first deputy leader of the Department of City-Building Policy, Development and Reconstruction of Moscow. Colonel-General , he signed earlier investment contracts in the Ministry of Defense, but the houses with the money of shared construction participants used were not completed, though according to the contract such housing estate as “Lesnaya Korona” (27, Tihonravova street, Yubileyniy, Moscow Region, 500 families) is to be built in 2004.
 
18, Rublyovskoe road, Moscow – the house was built but military personnel lives in the flats that were paid for by the shared construction participants. Moreover, there are incomplete houses in Moscow: 23, Verchnyaya Maslovka street, 4, Artamonova street and in other cities, for example in Anapa. On the whole, 674 families did not get their flats while the Ministry of Defense was the ordering party of the construction.
 
On July 28, 2009 Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow, stated that all the deceived shared construction participants are provided with flats. This was reported by the RIA Novosti news agency (http://www.rian.ru/moscow/20090728/178947450.html). The statement of Yuri Luzhkov does not correspond to the facts. There are deceived shared construction participants in Moscow: housing estate “Obiknovennoye Chudo”, estate 6, Pudovkina Street, Moscow – 400 families; Southern Tuschino – 1500 families; 18, Rublyovskoe road – 7 families; 4, Artamonova street – 55 families; 35a, Sevastopol’skiy avenue – 120 families; estates 20-26, Generala Beloborodova street – 69 families; estate 34 building 3, Polyarnaya street – 60 families; 19 building 1, Menzhinskogo street – 45 families; estate 1, Kachovka street – 104 families; building 23, Verchnyaya Maslovka – 11 families; 17, Starovatutinskiy passage – 81 family; objects of the companies “Sibol’” and “VNL-Imperiya”.
 
Just according to the data of the social network odnodolshiki.ru there is a severe problem in Moscow Region (shared construction participants in Sherbinka – 1500 families, in Zheleznodorozhniy – 632 families, Yubileyniy – 500 families, Oktyabr’skiy township in Lyuberetski district – 600 families, Zapadniy micro-district of Lyuberetski district – 800 families, Korolyov – 103 families, Noginsk – 500 families, Schodnya – 450 families, Podol’sk – 388 families, Golitsino – 140 families, Troitsk – 330 families, Lobnya – 130 families, etc), Sochi and the Krasnodar Territory – 4000 families, Samara and Samara Region – 3666 families, Voronezh and Voronezh Region – 1500 families, Yaroslavl – 120 families, Ufa – 1000 families, Tyumen – 343 families, Kaliningrad, Rostov-on-Don, Bataysk – 82 families, Omsk – 500 families. According to the data of the social network of shared construction participants on April 25, 2010 and to the information from the very participants that joined the social network odnodolshiki.ru, 19946 (nineteen thousand nine hundred forty six) families have not got the flats they paid for! Almost in every case there are guilty officials, builders, financial institutions that maintain accounts of developers, who have not yet undergone any punishment! We can provide a list of almost all incomplete sites with list of development companies, current accounts and banks that maintain these accounts.
 
Sixty four development companies have not fulfilled their obligations to the citizens that participate in shared housing construction.
 
Analysis of the internet site of the working party of the Presidium of the General Council of the “United Russia” party on defending rights of depositors and shared construction participants for March and April only showed the following data on incomplete sites:
Tyumen Region – 48 sites,
Yekaterinburg And Sverdlovsk Region – more than 60 sites,
The Ural Federal District – 270 sites,
The Altay Territoty – 31 site,
Moscow Region – 71 site,
Samara – 98 sites (from 14 to 28 thousands of shared construction participant families),
Izhevsk – 18 sites,
Tomsk – 15 sites.
Altogether there are 611 incomplete houses. There is no precise data yet about other regions of Russia, but there will be such data. Though, the present information is more than enough.
 
Deputy of the Moscow City Duma of the Communist party of the Russian Federation A. Klichkov requested on April 1, 2010 (reference number 08-46-2802/10) the lists of incomplete sites in Russia from the “United Russia” working party on protecting rights of depositors and shared construction participants (http://www.odnodolshiki.ru/article.php?article_id=59). The lists are not provided. We believe that there are many times more deceived shared construction participants in Russia.
 
At the moment many development companies are at the stage of bankruptcy. The Law (214 Federal Law) does not let shared construction participants struggle for their share – a flat in an incomplete house. There is a risk of losing last hope for getting an apartment since the site becomes a part of bankruptcy assets and is put out to tender where earned money is used to liquidate debts of the development companies.
 
Having its own view of the basic problems and ways of their solutions, the social movement “PROTECTING RIGHTS OF PARTICIPANTS IN HOUSING CONSTRUCTION” has addressed the head of the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrikin with request:
 
·        To organize in the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation an integrated staff and special investigation group on investigation of violations during housing construction (entry number: ЮЛСК-1153-10 from April 8, 2010) (http://www.odnodolshiki.ru/article.php?article_id=58).
 
Why did the deceived shared construction participants appear?
 
There are banks, brokerage companies and insurance companies in Russia that raise money from the citizens for their work but there have long been no deceived depositors as mass phenomenon with probable exception of some individual cases.
 
When an investor comes into market with an aim to buy securities five institutions control the safety of his risks: the Central Bank, the Federal Service for Financial Markets, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring and the Ministry of Finance. Every quarter there are obligatory financial statements of the professional market participants in due form of the Federal Service for Financial Markets and the Central Bank. Professional market participant is obliged to have employees that are qualified by the Federal Service for Financial Markets holding key posts. Licenses for the right to raise money from investors are required. There are also requirements for the professional market participants of sufficient capital, information disclosure and protection of rights of investors. Banks and brokers are obliged to adhere to the priority of the interests of investors in a conflict between the professional participant and its client. Brokers and banks are obliged to have back offices, depositaries, i.e. a detailed (pre-accountant) system of accounting the rights of investor that are a guarantee of the security of investors’ money. About five years ago the Federal Commission for the Securities Market was renamed into the Federal Service for Financial Markets, but why it does not see this huge sector of the financial market – the market of rights of shared participation in projects of housing construction?
 
Why is the market of shared housing construction investments still unregulated in our country? While all the rest financial markets are controlled by at least five institutions the housing construction market is controlled by Alexander Hinstein alone. There is no control of appointing heads of the organizations that raise money from the citizens and of spending the raised money. There is no regulation of construction and investment companies (so called “developers”) in terms of capital, founding members, disclosure of information about work, financial assets portfolio, permissible amount of assumed risks, etc. Control is needed to protect the rights of investor. It turns out that there are investors of the first and the second sort in Russia where the program of construction is advertised on a state level, mortgage is supported and the initiative of the citizens is welcomed. Investors of the financial market are protected by the law and the state, their work is regulated and controlled, though financial activity of the development companies (which is a sector of that market) is controlled by Alexander Hinstein alone. Thus, nobody protects shared construction participants except for Alexander Hinstein – a unique inspector of housing construction market and in some way (probably) its financial regulator.
 
No bank can go out of business or go bankrupt in Russia without a “command” of the Central Bank, under its supervision and with its contribution, though in construction sphere everything is absolutely vice versa. Is one deputy of the State Duma able to control the whole market of housing investment and construction? Does he have any financial education? Everyone understands that markets need to be regulated and controlled. Credit market, forward market, insurance companies and mutual funds are controlled but there is no one to control housing investment market. Meanwhile, the market of investments in houses under construction should be controlled every day, every month, every quarter, not by the media, not by the television but by state regulators and inspectors. Investment and construction market is also a financial market. Otherwise the situation has emerged when any company can without any control and with no visible guarantees and rules raise money from the citizens. Thus, with no appropriate control of the members of the market of investments in shared construction of houses the deceived citizens – shared construction participants – appeared (and unfortunately will continue to appear).
 
This gap is the fault of authorities because of whom people could not get their flats the rights for which were bought at market price. That is why we, shared construction participants, are asking You to:
 
-        Support the address to the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation;
 
-        To create a working party that would include shared construction participants for the solution of the problems of shared construction participants;
 
-        Immediately give orders to all the courts of the Russian Federation to suspend the consideration of development company bankruptcy cases until amendments to the law on development company bankruptcy in the Russian Federation are adopted;
 
-        To consider the possibility of granting shared construction participants with bridge credits for resumption of construction. The return of these credits would depend on the result of the search of the stolen money of the citizens by the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor's Office attached to the General Prosecutor’s office of the Russian Federation.
 
Igor Gulyev
 

A member of interregional social movement “Protecting rights of participants in house construction”.