chapter  5
Housing Policy in Bulgaria Frank Carter
Pages 58

Given this situation there was little time for searching ideological debates on the type and form of dwellings to be built, and the state set aside financial support to erect whatever new accommodation it could. Thus between 1944 and 1963, 905,000 dwellings were built of which over two thirds (625,000) were in rural areas (Roussinov, 1965, p. 202). By the early 1960s, every third house in Bulgaria had been built in the post World War II period. In the 1970s, Todor Zhivkov, the country's leader made some improvements in the housing situation. Up to then priorities established in the Stalinist years had meant that "accumulation" had invariably had a greater share in the gross national product than "consumption"; investment goods always had a larger share of gross national product than consumer goods which included housing. Even in the 1970s there was little time to spare pondering ideological questions about housing; urban housing shortages prompted Zhivkov to declare in 1973 that the residential situation was to be "radically solved". Nevertheless, this prediction fitted into the overall contemporary belief that housing should be given a high priority in the country's social and economic planning, because "The general level of a country's material and cultural wellbeing depends on its housing and living conditions" (Todorov, 1971, p. 10). In a way this supports Engel's earlier view, that such priorities "lead directly to 'Utopia'" (Engels, 1963, p. 68).