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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Garret Scheme to Aid Housing Crisis

ST. PETERSBURG -- Retired army officers look set to be the first beneficiaries of an addition to the local real estate market - building garrets on top of old Khrushchev-era apartment blocks to create living space at lower prices.

The project has been initiated in the city's north by a group called the Foundation for Garret Residence in Russia, a Danish-Russian governmental project launched in 1994. At that time, the problem of rehousing ex-military personnel was especially acute, and the foundation was created as a construction version of humanitarian aid.

The scheme is backed financially by the Danish government, as well as half a dozen Scandinavian companies who are supplying building materials for free. Construction is due to end in August.

The five-floor apartment blocks known as khrushchyovky, after Nikita Khrushchev, have become a major problem for cities across the country. In the 1960s, these easy-to-build constructions partly solved the problem of communal apartments. Kryushchyovky comprise about 10 percent of the city's residential real estate, housing over 600,000 people.