First communal apartments, where several families live together, appeared in Russia back in the 18th century, when the landlords divided their apartments into several parts and rented them out. Such apartments had five or six rooms and a kitchen, where all tenants cooked their food.
To solve the housing problems after the October revolution the authorities allowed requisitioning of rich people’s living space for new tenants, mainly communists, soldiers and security officers.
This was quite wide-spread in Leningrad, because the capital of the Imperial Russia had lots of huge and gorgeous apartments. As bourgeoisie was considered to be a kind of second-grade people in the new state, they had to make a sacrifice in the name of the Revolution and atone sins of their grandfathers, who “parasitized ” on proletarians and at least give their rooms to the “victims’.