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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article analyzes the Russian people’s projective attitudes and behavior practices when it comes to participating in the funding and organizing of major renovations of apartment buildings. The empirical base for the study consists of data from sociological surveys conducted by VCIOM (2015-2020), the Institute of Sociology of the RAS (2003-2019), FOM (2015), Levada Center (2019), The European Social Survey (2016, 2018), as well as the authors’ own expert interviews conducted in 2020. The need to ensure the safety of housing, the complexity and high cost of renovations is a reasonable explanation for government interference in this sector. Russia’s housing legislature assigns responsibility for maintaining and renovating common property to apartment owners, while also stipulating a funding procedure for major renovations based on deposits made by property owners. The system currently in place in Russia for funding and organizing major renovations, which implies the existence of both a “common reserve” and “special accounts” for regulated property owner contributions (that resemble a tax), is far from perfect, it being associated with such issues as a lack of funding, low quality of major renovations, susceptibility to corruption, owners having insufficient control when it comes to decision making. While analyzing material from all-Russian and regional empirical studies, the gap becomes evident between projective attitudes and the actual behavior of Russian people in the realm of major renovations. Despite a marked critical attitude when it comes to evaluating utility service quality, not to mention the “common reserve” model (which is a way of pulling together funds for major renovations and keeping them on the regional operator’s account) being regarded as socially unjust, nevertheless property owners demonstrate a low degree of civic self-organization and meager capability when it comes to taking collective action (as in participating in apartment complex meetings to discuss major renovations, creating and transferring money to dedicated accounts, keeping track of the major renovation process etc.). The reasons why property owners are so slow to develop any efficiency largely lie in the specifics of the institutional collective decision-making environment in regards to the funding and execution of local public property renovation, which also includes major renovations of apartment buildings.
sociology, housing economics, collective action, projective installations housing self-organization, major renovation
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