Russia: Mortgages written off for large families

Statue of a family in Saransk Image copyright Wikicommons/WildBoar
Image caption The ideal family size in Mordovia is four, if you want your mortgage paid

Having a large family will help parents in Russian region pay off their mortgages, it's reported.

The region of Mordovia is launching a scheme which will see the government reduce a family's mortgage by 10% for every child born, the NTV news channel reports. If a family has a fourth child then the entire mortgage will be written off, the report says. The offer will apply equally to families who choose to adopt children. It's hoped the initiative will serve a dual purpose - increasing the birth rate of the region, and supporting families who are struggling with their bills during Russia's economic downturn. Mordovia has one of the lowest birth rates in the country at 10.1 births per 1000 population in 2014, and the lowest within the Volga Federal District.

"It's certainly a relief, because my whole salary was being spent on the mortgage," says local resident Mariya Kuchkayeva. An official tells the channel that women can register for the scheme until the age of 35, and will continue to benefit even if they have children after that age. NTV adds that a sculpture in the region's capital, Saransk, of a family with three children and a pregnant mother, has now been nicknamed "farewell to mortgage" by local people.

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