Running into the damned past: how old communal apartments turned into new coliving

Running into the damned past: how old communal apartments turned into new coliving

22 February , 14:00City
The construction lobby does not abandon the idea of equalizing the rights of non-residential premises with residential premises and thereby legalizing the residence of citizens in "offices with a toilet bowl".

A new trend in the housing market is helping to speed up the process - the transformation of human beings into coliving and covening. This is a return to communal apartments that have gone down in history, experts say.

Lyudmila Butuzova

Last spring, the quarantined senators held a special online hearing to protect the rights and guarantees of citizens, acquiring all sorts of "apartments" illegally erected in apartment buildings throughout the country. Oleg Melnichenko, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Federal Structure, Regional Policy, Local Self-Government and Northern Affairs, was the main defender of citizens and the ringleader of the online event.

With his active participation in the Federation Council, a draft federal law has long been developed to establish the legal status of “apartments” and buildings with “apartments” as new types of real estate. It hung, so essentially it justifies the unauthorized actions of developers on redevelopment of housing, and suggests retroactively legalizing the violated norms and requirements of SNIPs.

In particular, Galina Khovanskaya, head of the State Duma Committee on Housing and Communal Services, is sharply opposed. According to Khovanskaya, the idea of changing the status of apartments to residential and allowing registration there will only legitimize fraud and corruption. The deputy noted that “developers bypass the entire approval procedure, all requirements for residents and residential visits, arbitrarily rebuilding small apartments in three or even four studio cells at the stage of delivery.

Nevertheless, the senators sent the project to the government and hope for its approval.

“That is why studios are in demand, the smallest, at least some, anywhere, even in a landfill, just to be cheaper,” says the famous architect Alexey Krotov. - During the 1998 crisis, many investment and construction structures brought projects of human beings from small apartments to the Moskomarkhitektury for approval. Then the professionals sounded the alarm and stood to death, not missing such projects - the crisis will pass, and the slums will remain.

But then the decisions were still made by architects. Now there is no one to object, not architecture is in demand, but urban blocks. They build something that can be sold quickly. Unfortunately, they buy what they have enough money for. Therefore, whatever you call a collection of toilets in one building - an art object, coliving, a covorgink, a tenement house - for the poor it is a shelter, for developers it is just a business.

The tendency towards minimization of housing has been seen for several years. In October 2019 Real estate and consulting company "Metrium" has released a sensational study "How the smallest apartments in new buildings in Moscow were shrinking." It tells about two residential complexes in the Zapadnoe Degunino and Nizhegorodsky districts with "social" apartments with an area of just over 11 square meters and a cost of about three million rubles.

“Paradoxically, such apartments are even smaller in size than parking spaces for cars. According to the norm established by the authorities, the minimum allowable area for car parking spaces is 13.25 sq. meters with dimensions of the car 5.3 × 2.5 meters", - noted in the press release" Metrium ". "It was impossible to believe that there were smaller apartments in the new Moscow buildings".

The head of the Metrium department, Maria Gerasimova, clarified for Novye Izvestia that these are actually former Mospromstroy dormitories built in the 1970s (respectively, a nine-story panel building and a five-story brick building). "But since absolutely everything has been redone and sales come from a legal entity, such objects are considered as the primary market," Gerasimova explained.

To the question of "NI" - has the record of Degunin apartments been broken by today, "Metrium" answered:

- “We ourselves are in shock! Apartments of 7.3 sq. meters and even 6.8. Further only the kennel..."

It looks like they will be offered for sale soon.

“In 2021, 1,600 new addresses will be opened in Moscow for settlement”, - Yulia Samylnik , a leading specialist in the capital's new buildings of the financial company “Nemet”, told Novye Izvestia. - When the houses were just mortgaged, we grabbed our heads - who will buy it? The market is oversaturated, new buildings are not for sale, and then there are 700 - 800 apartments in each house, the prices are crazy ... At the exit, some houses turned out to be 1,500 apartments. And they themselves have become not just residential, but multifunctional buildings with a new type of living space. That is, whole entrances of 30-40 floors, or even two entrances, are given for coliving.

The concept of coliving is not new for a long time. This type of cohabitation has been popular for fifteen years in major cities around the world. The companies offer shared living spaces in which each resident has their own bedroom and dorms. This can be like a typical life with a roommate. However, coliving differs in several key aspects, such as living with like-minded people and people with common intentions.

Coliving in Russian is, I tell you, somewhat different. And to be honest, it is an explosive mixture of a thriving business with the absolute humiliation of residents. Outwardly, everything is “like people’s” - a public space is fenced off - for example, for collective watching of TV, board games, sometimes there is a coworking space - a place for working with Wi-Fi and an audience for negotiations. There is a shared kitchen, toilet and shower on the floor. And then ... Then what people climbed here for is their own room with a personal toilet and a "kitchen" in which only a kettle is placed.

As a rule, the windows in the kennel are panoramic, that is, one wall cannot be used at all, adapt to sleep as it is more convenient - with your head either to the front door, or to the toilet, or on the "second floor" if the ceiling height is 3.20.

But the most important difference between "our" coliving from all others is that some of the rooms here have been purchased as property, and some that have not yet been sold are rented out. That is, here is a communal apartment in the most terry Soviet manifestation.

Andr Mov tried to live in coliving. At first I didn't understand where I got to. The man is 40 years old, and the rules of residence prohibit him from consuming alcoholic beverages, cooking and eating food of animal origin (with the exception of milk), as well as using obscene language, without which “you cannot survive there at all”: there is a large kitchen in the space, one separate bathroom and one washing machine - whenever you come, even at night, it is always busy. I went to wash my ex-wife. But the main complaint is this:

“Now, in fact, there is a return to communal apartments. Only toilets and stoves were moved directly to the rooms. And what is better, it still needs to be seen. When there is a queue for the toilet, or when the toilet is under your nose all the time. When kitchen smells are at the end of an apartment corridor or when they seduce you with their aromas all day. And this is exactly so. Now you enter the apartment and immediately find yourself in the bedroom-hallway-living room-kitchen-dining room-toilet-shower room. One room performs all these functions. It's good if the toilet is somehow fenced off from the rest of the space. And audibility with neighbors ... The dormitory named after the monk Berthold Schwartz is resting".

Retelling the posts, we omitted some details that seemed... not comme il faut. However, upon closer acquaintance with the advertising of coliving, the emphasis was on them - “You can bring your things to liven up the bedroom. However, you do not need to bring essentials such as toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, or paper towels with you. They are included in your rent and are replenished regularly. Cleaning service and breakfast are also included in the bill. Drinking water and tea bags around the clock without restrictions".

All this freebie for tenants, as soon as you become the owner of an apartment, they stop feeding and giving toilet paper at the price of Egyptian papyrus. That is why keeping tenants for some coliving owners is even more profitable than “legalizing” and selling apartments. There is a video on the Internet - so there is one entrepreneur who bought a private house near Voronezh and built 17 tiny studios with pots in it, admits that he has a profit of a thousand percent a year. All thanks to toilet paper, cleaning, bed linen change once a week and almost wiping snot behind each client. True, the studios are also attached to 0.3 acres of lawn, so that people "have a rest in the air." For all these amenities, he charges tenants 24,000 rubles a month, plus 5,000 utilities.

But Rustam Sidikov from Khujand for almost the same money (27 thousand rubles a month plus utilities, the total amount is about 33 thousand) rented a small studio with a girl in Otradnoye in the north-east of the capital. Upon delivery, it looked great: high-quality fresh renovation, good furniture and new appliances. At the same time, literally across the street, landlords offered terrible "old women" options with carpets and rubbish on the mezzanine - and more expensive. Shared the opinion with Novye Izvestia:

“The studio turned out to be an apartment, which didn't scare us at all. On the contrary. Our studio is two-level: on the first level there is a kitchen and a living room, on the second there is a sitting area. We equipped it ourselves, the owner allowed us to put in the beds. The height of the ceilings is 2, 6 m, but this is not particularly annoying, since we are resting lying down and you can always jump down no stairs. The total area is 18.2 square meters. It seems that this is very little, but we do not feel much discomfort, if there is an opportunity and a residence permit, I will buy myself the same".

So far, only Rustam has taken the brothers out of Tajikistan. All live in the same coliving, with wives, with children, with cousins and neighbors in the aul.

910 студий в одном кривом небоскребе - не многовато для нормальной жизни?

The correspondent of "NI" did not bother with rent, but immediately asked the price of the first coliving skyscraper in Moscow AFI Tower and the only one where all lots, including studio-storage rooms, have the status of apartments with adjoining registration.

- I wonder why such an exception? - I ask by phone, indicated on the site of the coliving skyscraper, and I suspect deception, since the lobbyists have not yet achieved official recognition of the studios as legal housing in which they can register.

- Don't you know who our developer is? - the girl on the other end of the line intrigues, but torments not for long: - The same one who built Moscow City!

ABOUT! This explains a lot! And the incredible design of the building is like in a crooked mirror, and 53 floors above the ground, and it is not known how many below it - for parking for 864 cars, and 1216 apartments under one roof.

“Of these, 910 are studios,” the operator clarifies, clearly making it clear that affordable housing is most often asked for. Yes, according to legend, this is what I need - for my working life I have accumulated 3 million rubles and I want to meet old age with dignity in my own apartment - albeit a small one (they have the smallest studio - 20 square meters).

- Are you considering a loan? - the question cools my dreams. But it is appropriate - the smallest studio is practically at the stage of the foundation pit, due to be completed in mid-2023 - it costs 6 million 250 thousand rubles. I agree to a loan. The calculator is ruthless: with an initial payment of 3 million, the monthly payment for 15 years will amount to 78,000 rubles. Mom dear! How much will a square meter come out in "my" studio? There are not enough numbers on the calculator...

But I have to keep my face, I ask: "What are the advantages of living in coliving for this money?"

“You will have public spaces on the 1st floor - a beauty salon, cafes, restaurants, a green area at the exit and a 5-minute walk to the Botanical Garden metro station,” the bored interlocutor retells the advertisement.

- And the contingent of residents? - I do not lag behind, as I learned the rules coliving and now I know that residents are selected according to their interests, professional community, cultural level and lifestyle - either meat-eaters, or vegans, or bachelors, or large families... There are big doubts that 910 studios will have the same number of suitable characteristics (and for money) Muscovites.

- Why immediately - "Muscovites", - the operator is indignant not according to the protocol. - Russia is big ... Buy and find yourself both in terms of level and interests. And why are you so worried about the infrastructure? The city is full of schools and hospitals - use it for health, you will have a Moscow residence permit.

I decided to think more. Basically, I don't mind living as a big family. Vaughn Rustam Sidikov from Khujand gathered a whole aul of relatives in coliving in Otradnoye, and they feel good. Pilaf every day and polati know how to do, again... It will not be superfluous to learn.


Lawyer Stanislav Stankevich - Novye Izvestia:

- Unlike officials and developers who are promoting such a seemingly humane step as the legislative approval of "social" housing in the size of 8 square meters and the mass registration of citizens in these premises, the Moscow public is categorically against this. And I, as a lawyer specializing in protecting the rights of citizens from arbitrary construction and housing, support the appeal of Muscovites to the government. It says: “Instead of an immediate cessation of the massive construction of overconsolidated buildings, a ban on the use of unsuitable premises for housing, it is proposed to further aggravate the results of the“ strategy ”aimed at making a profit at any cost, to the detriment of the health and safety of the population".

Everything is so: in Moscow, due to the superdense development, it is no longer possible to fulfill even the sanitary standard of 100 meters. You will leave the entrance and put your forehead against the wall of another house. And these are still flowers. Legislators are going to dump hundreds of thousands of unexpected, unexpected patients on the head of the choked healthcare system, who can finally paralyze the already optimized medicine and transfer schools to a three-shift mode of operation.

The time of the pandemic revealed obvious things that were deliberately hushed up by the Moscow authorities. First of all, the fact that the construction of non-residential buildings, not designed for permanent residence of citizens, requires the same amount of urban resources as residential buildings. But there are no additional resources, which means that what the “new settlers” need is taken from the indigenous townspeople.

Another moment, which is most important for epidemiological safety: the limitation of the number of people per hectare of urban development has been discarded as unnecessary, nearby multi-storey buildings are being erected on microscopic sites - living foci of the epidemic. The mass self-isolation of the population in such nurseries is more than a dubious precaution and the growth of unabated foci.

The question is as follows: either we suppress obscurant and inhuman decisions on the construction and legalization of apartments that are not provided with hospitals, clinics, schools, kindergartens, or land plots, and do not meet sanitary requirements, or we will pay with our lives and health. We must remember that the right to a favorable environment is guaranteed to us by the Constitution, and not by pieces of paper that are written on the knees of all sorts of lobbyists.

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