Khrushchev’s Housing Reforms


–Grandma! They’re building those apartments so fast, it’s the first time I’ve seen something like this in my life!<BR>–Me too.

Russia has always suffered from a lack of housing which meant that those who could not get a housing contract would not be able to hold down a job in the cities.  However, when Khrushchev came to power he made it his goal to increase construction of living space in the cities to ensure that the workers had plenty of places to live.  From 1956-60 there was a capital investment increase of 23.5 percent for construction.  However, due to the emphasis on speed, many of these new apartments were poorly built or simply converted from older buildings into apartments.  The average amount of space an occupant had been a mere 8.8 square meters in 1961.  Due to fact that the quality of living standards was decreasing many of these “new” apartments would eventually earn the nickname of “khrushcheby” which was a play on words for the word trushcheby or slums.  As many as four families at a time would have to share the same kitchen and bathroom which showed how cramped it was still in the cities despite the increase in construction.


Khrushchev’s reputation would decrease since the Party had promised that “during the first decade of the building of communism (1961-70) the housing shortage will be eliminated…”  One of the main reasons why the Russian people would have been so upset is due to the promise that now that the war was over things would get better and the standard of living would increase for everyone.  These houses were poorly built, overcrowded, and lacked commodities such as elevators and balconies in some cases.  The people had been living in these conditions and were tired of it and expected Khrushchev to solve this issue.  Though Khrushchev should not be completely looked down upon since he did actually try to increase housing for the people, the way he executed it was not done the way the people had expected it to go.


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2 thoughts on “Khrushchev’s Housing Reforms

  1. I feel like the housing reforms show a lot about Khrushchev’s era. He had a lot of good ideas – for example, fixing up old apartments and improving the housing situation – however, his ideas just weren’t always implemented well. As we discussed in class, he is usually thought of negatively as a leader because of this, but it seems like he really did want to help the country through his reforms.

  2. It’s too bad that there was such a huge emphasis on quickly erecting new apartments. If more care had been taken, the people would have been able to live a much better lifestyle for a longer period of time. The shoddy workmanship displays an impatience that Khrushchev had to simply build faster, as opposed to building more substantial and lasting homes.

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