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The Russian Favelas of Sochi – How Car Garages Can Be Turned into Profitable Multiple-Storey Homes

The Russian city of Sochi is known as a popular seaside destination and for having hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. But what most people don’t know about the seaside city is that it is home to a special type of residential complexes – so-called “Russian Favelas” made up of Soviet-era car garages converted into 3, 4 even 5-storey homes.

Having a garage built into a house or apartment building isn’t unusual at all, but while in the US they are considered annexes to the main building, in the Russian city of Sochi, it’s the other way around. The garage is the main building upon which owners have built several storey residential annexes which they then rent out to migrants or families too poor to afford conventional homes. In order to avoid having to register these bizarre residential buildings as actual houses and paying higher taxes, owners maintain the ground floor as garages, preferring instead to build as many storeys on top of them as legally possible to maximize their profits.

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