In Bishkek, the chairman of one of the homeowners’ associations (HOA) built socialism in a single house and on the adjacent territory. For all the benefits of common use (video cameras, intercom, repair of the roof, basement, entrance, yard fencing, playground and other amenities and aesthetics), the tenants paid zero soms zero tyiyns and continue to pay the usual price for their apartments.
The Man from Boulevard des Capucines
Once the house number 32 in the capital’s microdistrict “Vostok-5” did not differ from most others. A dirty courtyard, a staircase spattered and painted with obscene words, an elevator soaked with the smell of ammonia. And no prospect for improvement is complete hopelessness.
But in 2006, Raikhan Kunakunova moved here. Despite the fact that the house is located in the city center and is relatively new, in winter the temperature in the rooms did not rise above 9 degrees Celsius. This state of affairs did not suit the granddaughter of a military man.
– I decided that it was impossible to continue living like this, and began to act. The first step was to ensure that the temperature in the house rose to normal levels. Apparently, seeing my fighting character, the then chairman of the HOA invited me to become a manager. He wanted me to deal only with a 12-storey building (the HOA includes three adjacent houses. – Approx. IA «24.kg»), because it was a courtyard. The house was in a terrible state: there were no doors, the walls were painted with dark blue paint back in Soviet times, there was dirt all around, I generally keep quiet about cockroaches, – says Raikhan Ezhe about his first impressions.
She recalls that then for maintenance it was necessary to pay one som per square meter, but many did not want to contribute this amount.
– We hired a cleaning lady. But in order to pay for her services, it was necessary to collect 30 soms from each apartment per month, I had to do it with a fight. It was a state when money was not given, it was cold at home, but I wanted to live in normal conditions, ”she says.
But the chairman and the manager did not give up and figured out how to act in a different way. Market.
Red Book with seven seals
The former chairman of the HOA Erkin Nurbekov had an idea. He decided to formally formalize the local land plot, invite merchants there and receive money for renting land. He used these funds to support the house.
– It took two years to get the “red book”, because there was nothing to pay for it – there are many pensioners in the house. In the end, the issue was decided by the chairman himself, – says Raikhan eje.
But soon the chairman of the HOA left home, and she was elected the new head of the partnership.
“I was left alone, the akimiat ordered to remove the pavilions, and our residents supported the officials: even those living in neighboring houses were indignant at the pavilions and tried to set them on fire,” she recalls her first independent steps in public work.
Then one tenant from a neighboring house did not like that a pavilion was installed in the place where he parked his car. But an old school official from the akimiat intervened and helped solve the problem.
The Road to Calvary
Having adjusted the income for the maintenance of the house, the energetic chairman set about returning the basements to the house.
“Firstly, the basements are strategic objects, they were intended as a bomb shelter, but they were sold to private individuals,” she says. And again letters, appeals, constant walking through the authorities … But after two years, they still managed to return one of the premises.
As a result, the source of income for the house was identified, the basement was returned, and the children found a place where they could spend their time. But something was missing. Women smokers near the entrances – in front of the children – are women, the dependent attitude of the residents … All this could not please the chairman.
– The tenants believe that if there is a cleaner and a chairperson, then they should do everything. They spit on the floor, young women smoke, and a 63-year-old man cleans up behind them. This is killing me! – says Raikhan ezhe. And he does not get tired of reminding: “If you want to be rich, keep it clean, because angels come to a clean place.”
Of course, the pretentious words did not reach the minds of adults. Then the chairman, as she herself admits, began to act through the children.
“We organized circles, opened a library, arranged drawing contests among children, planted flowers everywhere,” she says.
And work with children began to bear fruit.
– Once the girls quarreled among themselves, and one of them trampled all the flowers. But other children brought seeds and asked to plant new ones, and they bloomed so magnificently that even the video was filmed against their background. Gradually, the house was transformed, they began to get to know the neighbors better, and it turned out that they were not scary at all, ”she says.
According to her, children gradually began to comment on adults when they threw garbage or spat. And gradually, step by step, adults also felt their responsibility for their yard and home.
Not a single life
As the heroine herself admits, the position of the chairman of the HOA is not limited to beautification and repairs.
– I thought that I would only deal with cleanliness, but legal, economic, and even political issues gradually fell down. I was shocked. Once, by decision of the board, one non-paying resident was punished. He wrote to the prosecutor’s office, and I alone answered, not the board, although the decision was made collectively, – says Raikhan.
From this incident, she learned a lesson for herself: you need to be able to maneuver between different groups.
– The house has 87 apartments and 87 characters. I realized how right my mother-in-law was when she said: now our society resembles a dependent, who believes that everything around should be for him, and at the same time no responsibility, ” shares Raikhan ezhe.
Rest only in our dreams
Today the picture near house number 32 has changed dramatically: a well-groomed courtyard, cleanliness, neat playgrounds, flower beds … It seems that you can already calm down and rest on your laurels. But behind external well-being, an ignorant person cannot see those problems that do not disappear for a day.
– Recently they came from the Akimiat and say that they are removing our rose garden: there will be a parking lot there. Like, we will take the “red book”, – the chairman told another unpleasant story from the life of the HOA.
It turns out that without taking into account the opinion of the homeowners’ association, the district and city leadership began to expand the asphalt road.
– We were indignant and asked why they did not agree with us, because we were promised that there would be no changes. I bought paving stones, and they demanded to remove it and the pavilions, because they want to lay asphalt in their place, ”the chairman continued.
In the end, she managed to defend the rose garden and part of the playground.
– The most surprising thing is that the akimiat has not resolved the parking issue. The authorities widened the road, made a sidewalk, but the road was as narrow as it was, and trucks continue to put on the footpath and drive along it. And in a neighboring house, in order to widen the passage, they cut off 350 square meters of green spaces, and now they are going to buy seedlings with taxpayers’ money, ”the woman is indignant.
She not only defends the interests of residents in a dispute with local authorities, but also finds gaps in legislation.
– There is a law prohibiting the opening of hotels in apartment buildings. But what can stop me? Nothing! There is a prohibiting law, but there is no punishing one. That is, we do not have professional laws, – she points out one of the shortcomings in the legislation.
However, the disputes between the restless and not indifferent Raikhan with some residents and the authorities just do not go away.
During the time she ran the house, there were four checks from the financial police and two from the prosecutor’s office.
– The inhabitants of our house wrote. Financial police officers were shocked to learn that I had mortgaged my apartment to repair the roof, the entrance, but later I returned my money, ” she said.
And today, when house No. 32 is in perfect order, its chairman, Raikhan Kunakunova, has a lot of things to do – from repairing the playground to defending the interests of the partnership.
This little woman is raising two children alone. Her work is a simple example of how to work conscientiously. However, many prefer not to remember this moral category: it is very troublesome to live according to conscience. But even for those who think only about benefits, Raikhan ezhe has an argument: love your home, and he will thank you! …