​ONF discussed legal prospects for family homesteads in Vladimir region

Experts of the All-Russian People’s Front (ONF) in Vladimir region discussed the future prospects for family homesteads with the regional human rights ombudsman, representatives of the region’s legislative assembly, profile services and departments.

ONF activists also visited Rodnoye community of settlements, Sudogodsky district, in order to study the experience of creating Family Homesteads. The main task was to gather information and opinions about the problems associated with this new type of rural population centre, which were created by the initiative of citizens wanting to live closer to nature. To date, hundreds of such settlements exist in different regions of the country.

The main problem when developing family homesteads today is that they are mostly located on agricultural land where it is legally not allowed to build residential houses. Residents of family homesteads believe that this legal aspect can be resolved and that the creation of this new kind of settlement will allow for the development of rural areas. This would then
promote the production of environmentally friendly and natural products.

In the Vladimir region, settlers are already reviving abandoned villages,​ ​building​ ​roads and​ ​bringing​ ​electricity​ ​to them, both of​ ​which will​ ​improve​ ​the​ ​villages’ future​ ​demographic​ situation.​

“In the Rodnoye community of settlements, a self-governing community has formed. Yet, for historical reasons its members remain completely or partially outside the system of state institutions. It is hardly necessary to seriously condemn the settlers for their choice to depart from urban civilization. In recent times, Russia has come a long way, people have changed, and some views have been revised. Today, the consensus in favor of returning people to the countryside is obvious to all. However, the specific mechanisms for doing so are still controversial,” said member of the regional headquarters of the All-Russian People’s Front, the head of the executive committee of the Vladimir regional branch of the All-Russian Council of Local Self-Government, Dmitry Zhuchenko.

“An extensive excursion program, a visit to the community’s House of Creativity, communication between ONF activists and local residents, as well as getting to know the local traditions all allowed the public to draw conclusions about the positive prospects for cooperation between regional and municipal authorities and members of family homesteads,” Zhuchenko added.

“The phenomenon of family homesteads is a new and has, like any phenomenon, its strengths and weaknesses. The state will most likely have to consolidate a legal status for these thousands of people who have organised their life in the countryside, and officially recognising this form of land management will remove many problems. But we must understand that this is a two-way road: the state and society must work out a compromise solution that suits everyone,” said ONF expert, Tatyana Gusarovaand, who is also the chairman of a regional movement called “My Address”.

Experts of the ONF regional department will continue to study the experience of developing family homesteads in the Vladimir region and propose to discuss the topic in round table format with residents of settlements, the public, and representatives of the regional authorities.

First published in Russian on 5 July 2018