Housing Estates in the Baltic Countries. 2019, 51-70
This chapter reviews the factors underlying the rapid emergence and subsequent narrowing of the Soviet-made housing shortage (i.e. the rise and slow demise of underurbanisation) in the Baltics, corroborating the analysis with findings from archival research on housing construction and allocation in the Latgalian city of Daugavpils between 1945 and 1991. It is suggested that the dynamics of the housing shortage, and the way the Soviet authorities attempted to tackle it, acted as a powerful alternative source of housing and socio-spatial differentiation, and that tracing the priorities assigned by economic planners to the different actors involved in housing construction facilitates the decoding of the Baltic residential landscapes. The chapter starts by portraying the roots of housing shortage, including the radical suppression of market forces and the housing nationalisation shock of the post-WWII years. It then discusses housing construction, housing tenure forms and housing allocation, and describes the specific experience of Daugavpils within these areas in order to shed light on the overall context of residential differentiation in the Baltics.
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