Albania Table of Contents

Official sources indicated that, between 1945 and 1985, nearly 165,000 apartments were built by the state and more than 232,000 houses were constructed by individuals with state assistance. Nevertheless, living quarters became increasingly overcrowded because of rapid population growth. Families of four or more persons often lived in a single room. Newlyweds seeking a private home faced waiting periods of up to ten years. War and natural catastrophes added to the burden. During World War II, some 35,000 dwellings had been destroyed. About 10,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by earthquakes in 1967 and 1969, and a powerful earthquake in 1979 demolished about 18,000 buildings and left 100,000 people homeless.

Rural houses were small, sparsely furnished, and simply constructed of natural rock or stone. Most had one or two rooms, and a hearth or sometimes a stove for heating and cooking. Urban houses and apartments usually were small; many lacked central heating. Kitchens and toilet facilities in apartments had to be shared by three or four families.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress