A round table on regulation of rural land relations was held at the All-Russian Popular Front (ONF) in the Chelyabinsk region. For the most part, discussion concerned the legalization of family homestead settlements.
“In the current legislation there is no term “family homestead” and there is no law regarding family homesteads, whereas there are already laws pertaining to gardening, personal subsistence and peasant farming. Therefore, existing family homestead settlements are forced to adjust to rules that prohibit their desired activities: to build a house, studio, plant a forest, garden, raise children, grow vegetables and fruits. In the settlements there is also common land on which there are roads, gardens, social infrastructure, forests, ponds, etc, in addition to the homesteads. The organization of such settlements is a unique attempt by people to determine their own destiny, to create an enabling environment for living and development,” believes Chelyabinsk regional ONF expert Leo Moiseyev.
In the Chelyabinsk region, there are already twelve family homestead settlements occupying a total area of 1670 hectares, located in the Sosnovsky, Kaslinsky, Agapov, Nagaybak, Krasnoarmeysky, Satkinsky, Uysky, Katav-Ivanovo and Chebarkulsky districts. As a rule, they are built on abandoned agricultural land overgrown with trees and shrubs, fields of old Soviet collective farms. Family homestead creators tidy them up, and using their own money build access roads, connect electricity, and work to restore the ecosystem.
“To date, 589 families are involved in the construction family homesteads in the Chelyabinsk region. Of these, 73 families reside permanently on their homestead. Since the concept of a “family homesteads” is not regulated by law, not everyone is ready to take the risk of investing their energy and money into capital construction. Many are waiting for the state to give them the opportunity, without fear, to build houses and equip their family homestead,” said Valery Rusalin, representative of Blagodatnoe family homestead settlement.
At the round table, family homestead residents spoke about their livelihoods and challenges. Notably, residents of settlements registered as non-profit summer or garden partnerships are on the verge of ruin because of high taxation. In their opinion, adopting the federal law on family homesteads will increase the number of settlers by more correctly legalising the status of family homesteads. They noted that there is high demand among the people for such a law.
“Those who want to settle on the land should be sure that the hectare beneath them and their descendants is fixed for life. The family homestead initiative will help to address important social, economic and cultural issues. It should probably be calibrated and developed simultaneously through cooperation in practice. As for the economic component, it would be good if all income from self-employment would remain in the settlements. That is fair; taxes stay there and benefit the population,” said Artem Artemyev, ONF Chelyabinsk co-chair.
As a result of the round table, experts of the ONF regional branch passed a resolution proposing to support the project “Family homesteads in Chelyabinsk region”. The document will be sent to the region’s legislative and executive authorities.
First published in Russian on 10 August 2018
and 23 August 2018