SOVIET HOUSING DRIVE - THE FIRST THREE YEARS (CB 61-1)

Created: 1/12/1961

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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CURRENT SUPPORT BRIEF

SOVIET HOU3IKGFIRST THREE YEARS

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND REPORTS

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

This report represents ihe immediate views of Ihe originating; intelligent components of the Office o' Reseorch end Reports. Comments ore solicited.

SOVIET HOUSINGFIRST THREE YEARS

f the Soviet housing drive started7 hae come slight overfulfilment of the construction target State goal was fulfilledercent aDd the creditableorcent. This success was tarnished, ecord0 when now housing fell short of the nt. Most or all of0 shortfall occurred inery ambitious goal was underfulfilled by about in the state soctor continued but were slowed by prob-transition to new construction methods.

Housing Construction in tho

(Millions of square meters)

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erratic trend of private housing has been influenced largely by fluctuations in governmental attitudes towards private construction. hen the government strongly supported and encouraged private builders, the volune of such construction nearly doubled and exceeded the plan by aboutercent. That the regime had doubts about the ultimate wisdom ofolicy were apparent Early0 Khrushchev publicallythe "psychology of private housing." 9 private housingincreased modestly, but the goal was underfulfilled. The peak of private housing was scheduledhen such construction was to rise byercent and to comprise more thanercent of total urbanconstruction. Government support for private construction appeared to be lacking in the early partowever, and in September-specific opposition to private housing was expressed in tho Soviet press. In October it was inconspicuously announced that Staterelied on by about half of the privateno longer be given. In the light of these developments, theercent shortfall of. private housing0 was no surprise. 4/

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The trend for state constructionas much steadier, aof better planning and closer supervision of the program. In theyears state builders substantially overfulfilled the housing plansgovernment kept its commitmentigh priority for housing. Indifficulties were encountered ln increasing the construction ofthe large-panel method. This method, based on the erection of storyof precast concrete, is intended to be the major type of stateconstruction Despite abundant attention to this-half of theillion square meters of large-panelbuilt9

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eOHFfBENTIAL

The questions concerning housing during the remainder of the Seven-Year Plan are: Will the Soviets bo able to raise the share ol large-panel construction toercent of stato housing4n the light of the status of such construction90 when lossercent of stale construction vas built by this nethod? If the large-panel method should prove unsatisfactory, could the gap be made up by tho use of conventional methods, such as brickand would the regime be willing to bear the substantially higher costs Involvedoversion to conventional nothods of construction? As to private housing, there appears to be one basicwill be the attitude of the government? If the government maintains its policy of discontinuing loans for private construction, will thero be enough private builders with their own funds to account forercent of the urban housing1s called for in.the Seven-Yoar Plan?

The answer to those questions ls suggested by tho long-term goal of the USSR and tbe very low level of 'housing in tbat country. Having vowed to eliminate the housing shortagehe Soviets leaders would probably be inclined to continue their recent efforts to improve tbesituation rapidly. oad to such efforts ls present in tbe feelings of the people, who identified housing as their number one problemecent Soviet public opinion poll. With the substantial increase*planned in the manufacture of building matorlals during the next five years, and the apparent absence of heavy claims on resources for higher prioritythereood potential for substantially overfulfilling tbe housing goals during the next five years.

anuary3

GQHFtDENTlAL

Analyst: Coord :

Sources:

. 3. D. 2. Vestnlk statlstlkl. No. U. 3- fzvestlya,. 5. U,

Stroltelnaya gareta. p. 3. U,

KOnaiunlst,ept. , U, Izvestlya,. 3. U.

Zbtllshchnoye stroltelstvo..troltelnaya gazeta., 2. U.

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