Accommodation — the figures
On average, each Belarusian family has 60 square metres of habitation
By Maria Dmitrovskaya
According to data from the National Statistical Committee, following the results of the selective inspection of households on the standard of living in 2013, the majority of Belarusian citizens, around 64 percent, live in separate apartments, 31 percent of families live in private houses and about 5 percent of households live in hostels or rent accommodation.
Obviously these figures differ depending on the area. In cities and urban settlements, 77 percent of households live in apartments, 15 percent live in private houses, 5 percent live in hostels and 2 percent rent their homes, whereas in rural settlements, 70 percent of households live in private dwellings.
According to the statistics, an average household has 60 square metres of living space. In Minsk however, a family more often lives in a 55 square metres property. The residents of the Grodno Region, where the average space available to the owners is 63 square metres, feel more comfortable. This indicator is higher still in villages and settlements. There, each household has 67 square metres on average.
Regarding the number of occupied rooms, more than 70 percent of families live in two or three roomed premises, with every seventh household consisting of four, or more, rooms. That is not to say that in the provinces everyone has a mansion! Frequently, in many spacious houses where numerous children’s voices were once heard, only the elderly now reside.
More than 90 percent of town houses have central heating, water pipes, sewerage, hot water and a bath or shower. However, these blessings of civilisation are still not available for everyone across the country.
According to the inspection, the majority of households (72 percent) appeared to be satisfied with their living conditions. 19 percent were dissatisfied, and 9 percent were absolutely dissatisfied. Among the latter group, 32 percent of those stated the insufficient living space as the main cause of dissatisfaction. 31 percent mentioned the absence of separate habitation and 21 percent, the absence of amenities.
The results of this investigation have shown that 42 percent of households which were dissatisfied with living conditions will be improving them in the future. Among city households this indicator rose to 47 percent, and among rural areas, 30 percent. This means that almost 62 percent of respondents plan to construct an apartment or house, more than 13 percent will be moving into more comfortable accommodation and 19 percent, to improve their living conditions and to make major repairs or reconstruct the premises. Apart from this, about 5 percent of Belarusians expect to come into money, or to receive social housing, and thus to improve their living conditions in that way.