«Housing problem» on virgin soil: touches of everyday life

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The purpose of the article is to analyze the problem of housing construction for working state farms during the development of virgin and fallow lands (50-ies – 60-ies of the XX century) using virgin state farms of the Orenburg (Chkalovsk) region as an example. To achieve this goal, the author posed the following tasks were set: to investigate the volume and quality of housing under construction on the virgin lands, to assess its sanitary condition, to characterize the internal situation of housing as an element of everyday life of primary lands; analyze the measures taken by the state. The relevance of the chosen topic is determined by the low knowledge of this problem in modern historiography and the lack of an integrated approach to it. A wide range of archival materials of a regional and national level, periodicals, and sources of personal origin are used as a research source. The presented material identifies the causes of the acute shortage of housing in the virgin lands; the analysis of compliance with norms and indicators of per capita demand and the actual provision of housing for each newcomer in the amount of square meters of living space, as well as the volume of housing development in the dynamics of the first decade of development of virgin lands. Based on the analysis of the statements of young people – virgin lands, a map of priorities is compiled, prompting them to decide to move and develop these lands; issues of technical and sanitary condition of housing for new settlers are considered; a characteristic of the housing situation on the virgin lands is given, the possibilities of primary virgin lands and landmarks for the interior decoration of houses, apartments and rooms, as well as their arrangement, are determined; the main ways to solve the analyzed problem in virgin state farms are identified, such as lending for individual construction, provision of prefabricated switchboard houses, housing construction by unqualified primary lands. Conclusions are drawn about the lack of housing in the virgin lands, both quantitatively and qualitatively; about unsanitary condition in the first few years of development of virgin lands; lack of furniture and household items; a direct relationship between the quality of housing, its readiness for the arrival of new settlers and the turnover of personnel in virgin state farms. Most of the measures taken yielded results only in the mid-1960-ies.


About the authors

O. V. Kuznetsova

Orenburg branch of Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2125-0610

Candidate of Historical Sciences, associate professor, Department of Economics, Humanities and Natural Sciences


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