As for now, around a million of St. Petersburgers live in kommunalkas - communal apartments. This is one fifth of the population of the city!
The majority of communal apartments are situated in the city centre. These are the apartments where a person, a couple or even a family typically has one room and shares kitchen, bathroom and toilet with other dwellers.
The difference with western style flat shares is that in St. Petersburg people often own these rooms, not only rent them. Communal flats are the heritage of the Soviet past and the war. Even though the local government has special programs for the resettlement of communal apartments, in fact they are very hard to resettle! On the other hand, in some communal flats you can still find bathrooms, stoves, fireplaces and pieces of furniture from the imperial past, and it may be interesting to visit them!