Land or money? Mari large families have freedom of choice, but is this alternative equivalent?

28 October 2021

30 September 2021

In accordance with Russian legislation, large families have the right to receive a free land plot to improve their living conditions. In 2015, the regions of the Russian Federation received an opportunity to pay monetary compensation for these purposes. On average, by region, the amount is 250 thousand rubles. The alternative method was immediately supported by Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Murmansk region, the Perm region and many other regions of the Russian Federation which really evaluated their capabilities. The Government of the Republic of Mari El was in no hurry to introduce this state program, it took 6 years to realize the scale of the problem in the process of implementing this right. And the problem is really serious. According to the Information portal of the Decade of Childhood, currently in the territory of the Republic of Mari El, 2553 large families have not realized their right to receive a land plot in the property for free! This is a huge figure, considering that time passes, children are born, and the number of such families grows every year.

So, the NGO “Man and Law” have cases in which one of the large families of Mari El Republic for two years and the second for five years are in line to receive a land plot, and in court they are trying to get the support provided by the state. More information about these cases can be found at the links:


“Our argument is that there are no land plots.” The Ministry of State Property disputes the decisions of the courts on land titling for large families

Only after applying to the court, a large family from Yoshkar-Ola is guaranteed to receive a free land plot


The Ministry of State Property tried to explain in the appellate instance that it could not grant land plots in an “open field”, and the process of providing land plots with the necessary infrastructure could take a long period of time. The officials, however, did not refuse their obligations, but asked to wait… There are three or more children in each of these families, and children tend to grow up, and they need to improve their living conditions here and now, especially since the state is currently implementing a decade of childhood, and we would like these to be not just words. A good impetus for the regional authorities was the litigation initiated in 2020 – 2021, including by the lawyers of the NGO “Man and Law”.

Litigation, a huge amount of resources, free time and nerves of citizens who had to defend their rights – and finally, the authorities of Mari El Republic recognized the existence of the problem, as well as one of the alternative ways to solve it.

The 20th session of the Mari El State Assembly, which took place at the end of last week, legislatively approved the possibility of receiving monetary compensation for large families for the purchase of the land plot. At the same time, the direct provision of cash payments will begin no earlier than in 2023.

According to human rights activists, this will contribute to improving the existing situation in Mari El Republic, make the state program more accessible to large families, at the same time, leaving open many questions that society has not yet received answers from the state.

Dmitry Yalikov, lawyer of the project “Different children – equal rights!” — This law gave large families the right to choose: land or monetary compensation. But, judging by the regional prices for land plots, it is unlikely that you will be able to purchase a plot with all the necessary infrastructure (roads, electricity, gas, social facilities) for 250,000 rubles in the city or suburb. The question remains whether it will be possible to use compensation for the initial mortgage payment or as repayment of the principal amount of the mortgage already taken, or, for example, for the repair or reconstruction of existing housing. Therefore, before choosing a measure of social support for a large family, you need to weigh everything and make a choice between a crane in the form of an ordinal number in a sedentary queue and a tit in the amount of 250 thousand. There is a third option – to go to court. Time will tell whether monetary compensation is interesting to families, but now one thing is clear: the first priority of the state will be the execution of court decisions, and only then the payment of the required compensation.

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