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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luzhkov Calls for Bigger Bathrooms

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Tuesday ordered the city's architecture and city planning committee to build bigger bathrooms in residential buildings to free up space for washing machines and household cleaning items.

Luzhkov also said Tuesday that the city government would build nearly 2 million square meters of municipal housing next year, doubling this year's expected output.

Speaking at Tuesday's weekly City Hall meeting, which was primarily devoted to housing and construction issues, Luzhkov chided city architects for designing apartments with bathrooms that are too small for modern families.

"You need to shake up all of these cookie-cutter housing projects in order to get rid of all of that junk," Luzhkov said, referring to bathrooms designs that he said had not changed since the Brezhnev era.

Luzhkov said it was "imperative" that the bathroom question be addressed "immediately."

"It's impossible to put a washing machine, which almost every Moscow family has, in the bathroom," Luzhkov said. "There's nowhere to put toiletries, such as skincare products and shampoos."

Luzhkov also said newly built apartments should be outfitted with more modern plumbing.

"Currently, ceramic plumping is widely used, and we're still installing old metal faucets," he said.

Deputy Mayor Vladimir Resin said at Tuesday's meeting that construction of 2.35 million square meters of new housing had been completed in Moscow through June, a negligible increase compared to the same period last year.

Demand for housing in Moscow has far outpaced supply in recent years, as residential property prices have skyrocketed.

The city government plans to build 1.9 million square meters in municipal housing next year, more than doubling the 979,000 square meters of subsidized housing expected to be finished by the end of 2006, Luzhkov said.

"We've never reached that number before," Luzhkov said.

Since a new Housing Code came into effect in 2005, municipal housing, which constitutes a majority of housing in Moscow, has been reserved for low-income and disadvantaged groups, such as orphans and the disabled. That code replaced a Soviet-era Housing Code that allowed anyone wanting to improve their housing conditions to get on a waiting list for a free apartment.