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St. Pete Governor Warns That Communal Flats Could Remain Into 22nd Century

High apartment costs have kept St. Petersburg from relocating communal flat residents at a faster pace.

There are still more than 104,000 communal apartments in St. Petersburg, with residents of 750 flats being relocated this year at a cost of 1 billion rubles ($33 million), the city's governor Georgy Poltavchenko said Tuesday.

Last year, half that amount of money was spent to move a greater number of communal flat residents to new quarters, Poltavchenko said at a meeting of the city legislature, Interfax reported.

"If this trend continues, communal apartments could stick around until the 22nd century," Poltavchenko said.

As explanation for the slow pace of relocating residents of the flats — holdovers from the Soviet period, when multiple families often shared apartments due to insufficient housing — Poltavchenko cited the poor quality of the remaining communal flats, making them unattractive to investors, and the high cost of building new residential properties.

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