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Results of Russia’s land distribution program revealed

The Far Eastern Hectare Program, which was launched in 2016, has proved to be hugely successful, a deputy minister says

Property rights for free land plots in Russia’s Far East have been formalized for 23,000 people, Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Elena Nurgalieva announced at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) on Wednesday. 

The so-called Hectare Program was launched by the Russian government in 2016 to revitalize the region and boost its economy. Under the program, a hectare, or 2.5 acres of land, was provided in the Far East to Russian citizens and foreign nationals as long as they lived there for five years. The applicants could use the territory for residential housing, agriculture, recreation, and business projects.

“Today, we can say with confidence that we have entered the second big stage of the Hectare Program implementation, where first applicants, those who were the first to take risks, the pioneers, after the five-year term, have been formalizing the property rights for land plots. While more than 120,000 people are participating in the Hectare Program, 23,000 of them have become landowners,” Nurgalieva said.

She elaborated that the granted land is often very valuable, so the program offers people not just to have a home but also an opportunity to improve their net worth. The deputy minister noted that half of the participants plan to build a family house and stay in the region, which would improve the demographic situation in the Far East.

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“In my opinion, those 23,000 people, who are owners now, are the proof the program is successful,” Nurgalieva stated. “For five years, they had been using the land and then decided to formalize the property, to pay applicable property taxes, and we can see the ongoing interest from new applicants, and every year the number of those who receive hectares in the Far East and in the Arctic is growing,” she concluded.

In 2021, the Russian government launched a similar program for the Arctic, where applicants can choose from locations next to cities and big villages or shores of navigable rivers. This land grant may be used to build a house or start an enterprise. In addition, regional authorities offer incentives and ultra-low taxes for small and medium-sized businesses for three years.

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