Story and photos by Maxby Chan
The Second World War has caused humongous loss of lives and destruction of properties. Many countries engaged in the War began to pick up the pieces after this devastation.
In Malaysia and Singapore, our Government of the day enacted the Rental Control Act. An Act enacted to prevent the landlords kicking out the residents who rent their place. Before the enactment, the landlords were increasing their rentals periodically and rent it to the highest bidder.
In Russia, after the revolution, the rural population moved to the cities in search of employment. This has caused a lot of pressure on the supply of mass public housing. The Government at that time came up with a plan to convert the huge houses and public buildings into small tenements. A family of 5 or 6 would be allocated one room per family. All the families shared common toilets, baths, and kitchen. Some of these tenement buildings still exist till today but most of it were torn down to make way for commercial development or apartments. We visited a few of these buildings. There was a building converted that was into a hotel. We were able to view what life was like to stay in a tenement during those early days.