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Novyi Urengoy, Fires Liquidate Housing Problem

The Town of Novyi Urengoy is one of those Russian towns and cities that are considered to be the most prosperous.
The reason is its place and role in the oil and gas producing industry – the town is located in the North, in the area which is called the Yamal and Nenetsk Autonomous Region, known for its immense oil and gas reserves.

However, prosperity in Russia is a phenomenon of a special kind.

The housing problem seems to have left a special mark on the town’s face and its people’s lives. This problem, a lack of decent housing for the town dwellers, has been haunting the oil and gas workers living there, of whom many are migrant workers.

Part of the problem is the housing claimed to be untenable on the grounds of technical deterioration.

But this is only part of the problem.

The core of the problem is that people still live in those shabby houses.

They have to.

And they protest from time to time.

The town has seen the local citizens unite and stage a lot of actions protesting the policy pursued by the town government.

Another disaster is the fires.

On December, 22, 2015, early in the morning, a residential house located at the address Stroiteley street, # 3a, was reported to be caught a fire. The house is said to be one of those officially claimed untenable but still inhabited.

It is one of the houses whose tenants are liable to be evacuated and eligible for new housing owed to them by the local government.

However, the tenants refused stubbornly to get evacuated.


Because the housing offered to them turns out to be even more untenable and rundown.
The fire in the house began with the roof space, at about four A.M., when all the tenants were sleeping.
This is the second fire reported in this house, with the first one having happened here a month before and having been extinguished thanks to the tenants themselves who had seen the first fire flashes and rushed to put it out.

The house tenants were also subject to the town Mayor’s sanctions as they had refused to move to other, ‘’new’’ houses which are even shabbier than the old ones.

The town Administration has been trying to have the tenants of untenable housing move to new housing areas which have become the buzzword for their poor quality and …..infeasibility to live in them.

The new houses are known for their shabbiness, their fragile walls covered in rot and molder, roofs ready to collapse at any moment.

So, people are forced to bargain one trouble for another.

They refuse to move to the housing of this type and stage protest actions not only in their native town but also in Moscow, where the biggest Russian oil and gas companies (GASPROM) are headquartered.

They have been petitioning the authorities, both local and federal, which has not given any results.
And retaliation is quick and merciless.

The tenants of house 3a on Stroiteley street in the Town of  Novyi Urengoy believe that the last fire was a act of arson, not an act of God.

They believe that this fire was not accidental.

Youri S., IAI activist, Russia
For further information please contact:
In Novyi Urengoy - 8-909-19-73-021
In Moscow - 8-905-537-22-99

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