The communal apartment comes to the U.S.

Comparisons of the current U.S. system of transferism to “Communism” don’t make sense to me. In the Soviet Union under “Communism” everyone had to work, the very opposite of the American system in which tens of millions of able-bodied people are relieved of the need to work either by having sex with an already married person (“child support”), a quickie marriage to a high-income person (“alimony” and/or “Amber Heard”), or via taxpayer-funded housing, taxpayer-funded health care (Medicaid), taxpayer-funded food (SNAP/EBT), taxpayer-funded smartphone (Obamaphone), and, recently added, taxpayer-funded broadband for the Xbox. Any non-disabled adult in the Soviet Union who tried to sit at home collecting child support, alimony, or government-provided services would have been labeled a “parasite” and subject to a range of punishments.

But a signature feature of the Soviet system seems to be becoming more widespread in the U.S.: the communal apartment. “Their Solution to the Housing Crisis? Living With Strangers.” (NYT, June 1):

Two facts are painfully clear to New Yorkers: The rent is too high, and it keeps getting higher. With the median one-bedroom apartment hovering around $3,500 a month, New York’s rents are officially among the most expensive in the country. Between 2009 and 2018, the city added 500,000 jobs but only 100,000 new housing units. The profound shortage in rental units has forced the city’s residents to figure out their own ways to live affordably.

Ingrid Sletten, 68, was paired with Stacey Stormo, 37, through a nonprofit that helps older adults find roommates. They share a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx and each pay $750.

Halima Muhammad, Sukanya Prasad, Ashleigh Genus and Prisca Hoffstaetter share a spacious four-bedroom apartment together on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. Two of the roommates pay about $950 a month (and have their own bathrooms), while the other two pay about $890.

Rina Sah and her husband, Ajit Kumar Sah, share their two-bedroom apartment in Elmhurst, Queens, with Babita Khanal, whom they found through a Facebook group for the Nepali community in New York. Babita pays them $900 a month, lowering the couple’s share to only $1,200.

Kazi, Amzad, Eliyas and a fourth roommate are all recent Bangladeshi immigrants who share a basement apartment in East New York, Brooklyn. They pay a combined $1,600 and live two to a bedroom.

Alexandra Marzella has lived with more than 90 people over the last decade in a six-bedroom loft in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her five current roommates also share the space with her 2-year-old daughter, Earth, who was born in the apartment’s bathtub in 2020. Each roommate pays between $1,000 and $1,300 in rent each month, including utilities.

Things must be easier up in the frozen north, right? Maybe not… “Asylum Seekers Overwhelm Shelters In Portland, Maine” (ZeroHedge):

Guthrie, a hands-on, frontline worker in the effort to feed, clothe, and house a continuous flow of foreign nationals arriving in Portland by airplane or bus from the U.S. southern border, told The Epoch Times, “Our family shelter facilities, our warming room, and even area hotel space is at capacity. We have maxed out our community resources.

The Portland Family Shelter is a complex of four rented buildings in various states of renovation located in the heart of downtown.

Some of the structures are gradually being converted into small apartments where up to four families will share a single kitchen and bathroom.

To accommodate the stream of new arrivals, the family shelter program has in recent months placed 309 families (1,091 people) in eight hotels located in five neighboring municipalities spread over three counties of southeastern Maine’s prime tourist and vacation region.

The vast majority of the new arrivals at the family shelter in Portland have come from Angola and the Congo in Africa, with some coming from Haiti in the Caribbean.

“A new arrival tells Border Patrol ‘I am here to seek asylum. If I go back home, I will be killed. I fear for my life.’ That’s the difference between an asylum seeker and an immigrant,” he said.

Those three short sentences guarantee a person’s admission for a lengthy stay in the United States as his or her claim [why only two gender IDs for migrants?] is adjudicated.

Most are given cell phones.

The shelter provides families with three meals a day, prepared off-site by “community partners.”

According to Guthrie, the cost per motel room is between $250 and $350 dollars per night and rising as the tourist season begins.

“Pregnancy is the families’ most urgent medical concern, and their most pressing medical need is OBGYN (obstetrics and gynecology) care,” he said.

Speaking through an interpreter provided by the shelter, and in the presence of shelter director Guthrie, Samantha, a young Angolan woman with a 10-month-old baby on her hip and a toddler in tow, was not shy about sharing her dissatisfaction.

“We endured a seven-month journey to come to this! We are not happy. Conditions are not good! We really need help.”

When asked if she felt welcome, Samantha said with a look of disbelief, “No! I do not feel welcome. Look at us. We are outside.”

Landry, a housepainter and electrician’s helper, brought his wife Sylvie, two-year-old daughter, and 12-month-old son to Portland from the Congo. … Sylvie said, “We came from Texas unprepared for this Maine weather. I am not happy for how I am living here. I don’t feel welcome!”

Climate change can’t happen soon enough for these folks! (Free housing, health care, smartphone, and three meals per day cooked by paid do-gooders isn’t enough to make people “feel welcome” given typical Maine weather.)

Housing is fundamental. So maybe it is fair to say that the U.S. is becoming “Communist” at least with respect to communal apartments.


  • “How Refugees Transformed a Dying Rust Belt Town” (NYT, June 3, 2022); after all of the employable native-born residents flee the city’s high taxes, incompetent government, and spectacular public employee pension obligations, Utica, NY imports replacements who come with Federal tax dollars attached. (This is not, however, evidence that the disproved Great Replacement Theory is in any way correct.)
  • “She sought an affordable housing voucher in 1993. This Chicago alderman just reached the top of the waitlist.” (Chicago Tribune, June 7, 2022) “In one of the richest cities in the world, we ain’t got a money issue. There’s no political will to make sure people are housed,” Taylor said. … At the end of 2021, there were 170,000 families on waitlists for public housing and project-based housing, … Aguilar said that wait times can range from six months to 25 years. Most properties on a CHA website show expected wait times of 10 years or more. … “CHA currently has 47,000 Housing Choice Vouchers that it receives from the federal government. The number allotted has not increased in many years,” he said. New families will receive vouchers when families currently in the program stop using them.
  • Regarding Chicago… “This Land Was Promised for Housing. Instead It’s Going to a Pro Soccer Team Owned by a Billionaire.” (ProPublica): More than 30,000 people wait for homes from the Chicago Housing Authority. Meanwhile, a site that’s gone undeveloped for two decades is set to become a Chicago Fire practice facility.

18 thoughts on “The communal apartment comes to the U.S.

  1. Bring on the stacked sewer pipes, air mattresses, VR goggles and healing marijuana! It’s coming!

    I was watching a car video last night about a custom, tuner-built Porsche 911 Turbo, modified by a company called 9FF (2559 in decimal, 1001 1111 1111 in binary) so that it develops 1400 horsepower and easily tops 340 kilometers per hour on the autobahn. The narrator claims that about 25 people in Germany (current price of gas: about $7.89 / gallon.)

    Soon the proles will be able to sit at home in their stacked sewer pipes and watch the 25 rich people in Germany barrel down the autobahn burning the last drop of legal gasoline in Germany at $100 / gallon while they eat soylent green out of resealable bags and smoke their healing marijuana!

    This guy from the Netherlands can’t stop laughing as the 9FF 911 catapults him forward like a four-wheel drive Blitzkrieg! “It’s so addictive!!” as he blows past the Shock Absorbing Proles at Warp Factor HAHAHA.

    • sorry: “…the narrator claims that about 25 people in Germany….own a similar car.”

    • Thanks for the links, the photo of sewer pipe homes under the bridge looks realistic! The rent in Munich would be EUR 750 per person for a shared sewer pipe.

    • @Anonymous:

      You’re welcome! And you can be sure that living underneath a highway overpass in a repurposed sewer pipe is exactly the kind of experience Mike Bloomberg and others have in mind as being perfect for all kinds of people who want to reclaim urban space. It’s just a good thing none of those people will be able to own any guns!

      Back in 2020, Vanity Fair tried to compile a short list of the places Mike Bloomberg calls “home” – including his $10 million dollar “mega mansion” in Bermuda! I don’t know if the list is current, but I’ll bet it’s a nice, quiet place where he has time to kick back with some nice breezes, clear his mind and think.

    • “stacked sewer pipes”

      Great! One’s own personal masturbatorium!

      Where’s the plumbing?

    • @DP: Exactly! You’re a tube within a tube, living in a tube and pulling your tube, watching YouTube! It’s Totally Tubular! Everyone gets a Nixon wristwatch, which they can pay off over time via their rent and sewage pumping bills.

      [Sorry, that last is an obscure and somewhat unfair reference. It refers to a brand of watches popular among surfers, like Mark Zuckerberg in Hawaii, where he enjoys his freedom on the water with lots of sunscreen, a huge estate, an army of lawyers, and a crack group of trained killers who tag along to provide the firepower.]

  2. Back in Czechoslovakia (and Poland, Romania and etc) there was a perfect solution, the Panelák, aka panel building.

    Using prefabricated panels, these apartments could be built very fast and cheap, you could even outsource the panel manufacturing to Asia and ship them to the US, if the US industry is not capable of manufacturing them.

    These could solve the housing crisis and everybody could own a flat, no need for sharing. Only members of the ruling elite would be allotted the luxury of a 4000 sq ft McMansion.ák

    • Except that in winter these panel houses were freaking cold. And changing or repairing wiring or plumbing was a nightmare. I had an apartment in one such building.

    • @Pavel: We had a sitcom during the 70’s (1974-79) dramatizing life in the American version of the Panelák, maybe better construction, set in a housing project in Chicago: “Good Times”

      “J.J.” Jimmy Walker is still doing commercials using his signature line: “Dyn-O-Mite!”

      “According to an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show on June 27, 2012, Walker stated he has never been married nor fathered children, but has had many girlfriends. Walker appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on July 11, 2012. He stated that he did not vote for Barack Obama in 2008 and that he would not vote for him in the 2012 election either.[8] In an interview with CNN, Walker described himself politically as a “realist independent” and stated that he opposed affirmative action, saying that it had outlived its usefulness. He also said that he was against gay marriage on moral grounds, but believed its legalization should be passed, stating it was not worth fighting against.[4]”

      Recently he’s been doing “Medicare Benefits Helpline” commercials:

  3. I don’t understand why the West can’t buy land in Africa from some corrupt dictator and house the refugees there. The understanding would be that the refugees will be defended against further oppression in that area.

    The economy could be putting up solar panels and generating hydrogen.

    Of course this would be against oil interests, social justice interests, real estate interests and the need for employers to have a willing and underpaid industrial reserve army.

  4. This is a prefect opportunity for the do-gooders and the woke to walk-the-talk and put-their-money-where-their-mouth-is. Open their oversized homes and welcome those in need. Too bad NYT doesn’t suggest this solution.

  5. ” In the Soviet Union under “Communism” everyone had to work, the very opposite of the American system in which tens of millions of able-bodied people are relieved of the need to work either by …

    the given list of get rich quick schemes doesn’t include sex in a car where one person gets an STD and $5 million in damages. Since most STD transfers happen in houses, apartments, and communal apartments, home owners insurance should be able to make lots of people rich and relieved of the need to work.

    • You need to watch out for these pesky subrogation clauses on your insurance policy…

  6. Louis Rossmann’s slogan is inflation can’t due to millennials leaving the cities because NY prices are rising just as fast as North Dakota prices. Maybe the old theorists were right. The stonk market has to descend back to where it would be with a 2% annual growth rate since 2008 & those of us who aren’t expert witnesses have to lose our jobs.

  7. When you start researching your ancestors you will see from census records, including the recent 1950 census, how many residences has borders. So is this really anything new?

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