Requisitioning of Excess Space
Regional Executive Committee Draft Resolution
A meeting yesterday of the Large Presidium of the Regional Executive Committee approved the following draft resolution on the requisition of excess living space.
It is quoted here in full:
In view of the acute housing crisis in the city of Leningrad and the necessity to expeditiously provide living space to discharged military personnel, students, evacuees from condemned buildings in danger of collapsing, and workers lacking housing, the Presidium of the Leningrad Soviet decrees the following changes to current resolutions on excess living space:
Excess rooms are considered to be those exceeding the living space allotted according to the current norm to the family of the tenant and provided on the basis of professional occupation and medical condition.
Excess rooms are subject to requisition from tenants by administrative order and will be placed at the exclusive disposition of district communal departments for settlement of the above-mentioned categories of citizens.
With the exception of married spouses and children under 12 years of age, the requisition of excess rooms may not compel persons of opposite sexes to cohabit the same room.
Tenants are granted their choice of rooms remaining to them within the limits specified in paragraph 1, as well as the right within 3 weeks to settle in the requisitioned rooms tenants of their choice, on the condition that said tenants surrender to the district communal department any rooms occupied by them or some other rooms suitable for habitation in exchange for those subject to requisition.
Complaints about the improper requisition of living space are to be submitted within one week to the presidium of the district soviet; submission of a complaint suspends the requisition.
The process of requisitioning excess rooms is defined by guidelines to be published in elaboration of the present resolution.
Discussions of this issue have revealed that according to a study by the District Statistical Department, there are up to 700,000 square meters of excess intraroom space in Leningrad and approximately 15,000 rooms let at higher excess living space rates.
Given the present housing crisis, it is clear that all measures must be taken to in one way or another acquire this excess space to alleviate housing needs. It is the requisition of this excess space that is envisaged by the Regional Executive Committee draft resolution.
Yesterday the draft resolution was promptly sent for approval to the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee
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It must be acknowledged with all forthrightness that this decision of the Presidium of the Regional Executive Committee may be the only way to alleviate the housing crisis for the near future. The aspect of the decision that many will find unpleasant, namely the compulsory nature of living space consolidation and the settling of new occupants, is greatly mitigated by the three-week period within which tenants can move in persons of their choice. These persons are merely required to surrender their vacated living space to the district communal departments. One must assume that many who take timely advantage of this privilege will not experience any unpleasant consequences of the upcoming consolidation.
The resolution will acquire legal force immediately upon approval by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.
Translated by Charles Rougle