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Many campaigners, such as Upton Sinclair and Jacob Riis, pushed for reforms in tenement dwellings. As a result, the New York State Tenement House Act was passed in 1901 to improve the conditions. More improvements followed. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the Housing Act of 1949 to clean slums and reconstruct housing units for the poor.

The Dakota (1884) was one of the first luxury apartment buildings in New York City. The majority, however, remained tenements.

Some significant developments in architectural design of apartment buildings came out of the 1950s and '60s. Among them were groundbreaking designs in the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments (1951), New Century Guild (1961), Board of Health at last compelled him to repair and clean up the worst of the old buildings, under threat of driving out the tenants and locking the doors behind them, the work was accomplished against the old man's angry protests. He appeared in person before the Board to argue his case, and his argument was characteristic. "I have made my will," he said. "My monument stands waiting for me in Calvary. I stand on the very brink of the grave, blind and helpless, and now (here the pathos of the appeal was swept under in a burst of angry indignation) do you want me to build and get skinned, skinned? These people are not fit to live in a nice house. Let them go where they can, and let my house stand." In spite of the genuine anguish of the appeal, it was downright amusing to find that his anger was provoked less by the anticipated waste of luxury on his tenants than by distrust of his own kind, the builder. He knew intuitively what to expect. The result showed that Mr. Murphy had gauged his tenants correctly.[39]

Many campaigners, such as Upton Sinclair and Jacob Riis, pushed for reforms in tenement dwellings. As a result, the New York State Tenement House Act was passed in 1901 to improve the conditions. More improvements followed. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the Housing Act of 1949 to clean slums and reconstruct housing units for the poor.

The Dakota (1884) was one of the first luxury apartment buildings in New York City. The majority, however, remained tenements.

Some significant developments in architectural design of apartment buildings came out of the 1950s and '60s. Among them were groundbreaking designs in the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments (1951), New Century Guild (1961), Marina City (1964) and Lake Point Tower (1968).

In the United States, "tenement" is a label usually applied to the less expensive, more basic rental apartment buildings in older sections of large cities. Many of these apartment buildings are "walk-ups" without an elevator, and some have shared bathing facilities, though this is becoming less common. The slang term "dingbat" is used to describe cheap urban apartment buildings from the 1950s and 1960s with unique and often wacky façades to differentiate themselves within a full block of apartments. They are often built on stilts, and with parking underneath.

In the United States, properties are typically in one of four property classes, denoted by a letter grade. These grades are used to help investors and real estate brokers speak a common language so they can understand a property's characteristics and condition quickly. They are as follows:

Class A properties are luxury units. They are usually less than 10 years old and are often new, upscale apartment buildings. Average rents are high, and they are generally in desirable geographic areas. White-collar workers live in them and are usually renters by choice.

Class B properties can be 10 to 25 years old. They are generally well maintained and have a middle class tenant base of both white- and blue-collar workers. Some are renters by choice, and others by necessity.

Class C properties were built within the last 30 to 40 years. They generally have blue-collar and low- to moderate-income tenants, and the rents are below market. Many tenants are renters "for life". On the other hand, some of their tenants are just starting out and are likely to work their way up the rental scale as their income rises.

Class D properties house many Section 8 (government-subsidized) tenants. They are generally located in lower socioeconomic areas.

Canada

Apartments were popular in Canada, particularly in urban centres like Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Hamilton in the 1950s to 1970s. By the 1980s, many multi-unit buildings were being constructed as condominiums instead of apartments—both are now very common. In Toronto and Vancouver, high-rise apartments and condominiums have been spread around the city, giving even the major suburbs a skyline. The robustness of the condo markets in Toronto and Vancouver are based on the lack of land availability.White-collar workers live in them and are usually renters by choice.

Class B properties can be 10 to 25 years old. They are generally well maintained and have a middle class tenant base of both white- and blue-collar workers. Some are renters by choice, and others by necessity.

Class C properties were built within the last 30 to 40 years. They generally have blue-collar and low- to moderate-income tenants, and the rents are below market. Many tenants are renters "for life". On the other hand, some of their tenants are just starting out and are likely to work their way up the rental scale as their income rises.

Class D properties house many Section 8 (government-subsidized) tenants. They are generally located in lower socioeconomic areas.

Apartments were popular in Canada, particularly in urban centres like Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Hamilton in the 1950s to 1970s. By the 1980s, many multi-unit buildings were being constructed as condominiums instead of apartments—both are now very common. In Toronto and Vancouver, high-rise apartments and condominiums have been spread around the city, giving even the major suburbs a skyline. The robustness of the condo markets in Toronto and Vancouver are based on the lack of land availability.[40] The average capitalization rate in the Greater Toronto Area for Q3 2015 hit its lowest level in 30 years: in Q3 2015 it stood at 3.75 per cent, down from 4.2 per cent in Q2 2015 and down almost 50 per cent from the 6.3 per cent posted in Q3 2010.[41]

AustraliaApartment buildings in Australia are typically managed by a body corporate or "owners corporation" in which owners pay a monthly fee to provide for common maintenance and help cover future repair. Many apartments are owned through strata title. Due to legislation, Australian banks will either apply loan to value ratios of over 70 per cent for strata titles of less than 50 square metres, the big four Australian banks will not loan at all for strata titles of less than 30 square metres. These are usually classified as studio apartments or student accommodation. Australian legislation enforces a minimum 2.4 m floor-ceiling height which differentiates apartment buildings from office buildings.

In Australia, apartment living is a popular lifestyle choice for DINKY, yuppies, university students and more recently empty nesters, however, rising land values in the big cities in recent years has seen an increase in families living in apartments. In Melbourne and Sydney apartment living is sometimes not a matter of choice for the many socially disadvantaged people who often end up in public housing towers.

Australia has a relatively recent history in apartment buildings. Terrace houses were the early response to density development, though the majority of Australians lived in fully detached houses. Apartments of any kind were legislated against in the Parliament of Queensland as part of the Undue Subdivision of Land Prevention Act 1885.

The earliest apartment buildings were in the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne as the response to fast rising land values–both cities are home to the two oldest surviving apartment buildings in the country, Kingsclere in Potts Point, and The Canterbury Flats in St Kilda. Melbourne Mansions on Collins Street, Melbourne (now demolished), built in 1906 for mostly wealthy residents is believed by many to be the earliest. Today the oldest surviving self-contained apartment buildings are in the St Kilda area including the Fawkner Mansions (1910), Majestic Mansions (1912 as a boarding house) and the Canterbury (1914—the oldest surviving buildings contained flats).[42] Kingsclere, built in 1912 is believed to be the earliest apartment building in Sydney and still survives.[43]

During the interwar years, apartment building continued in inner Melbourne (particularly in areas such as St Kilda and South Yarra), Sydney (particularly in areas such as DINKY, yuppies, university students and more recently empty nesters, however, rising land values in the big cities in recent years has seen an increase in families living in apartments. In Melbourne and Sydney apartment living is sometimes not a matter of choice for the many socially disadvantaged people who often end up in public housing towers.

Australia has a relatively recent history in apartment buildings. Terrace houses were the early response to density development, though the majority of Australians lived in fully detached houses. Apartments of any kind were legislated against in the Parliament of Queensland as part of the Undue Subdivision of Land Prevention Act 1885.

The earliest apartment buildings were in the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne as the response to fast rising land values–both cities are home to the two oldest surviving apartment buildings in the country, Kingsclere in Potts Point, and The Canterbury Flats in St Kilda. Melbourne Mansions on Collins Street, Melbourne (now demolished), built in 1906 for mostly wealthy residents is believed by many to be the earliest. Today the oldest surviving self-contained apartment buildings are in the St Kilda area including the Fawkner Mansions (1910), Majestic Mansions (1912 as a boarding house) and the Canterbury (1914—the oldest surviving buildings contained flats).[42] Kingsclere, built in 1912 is believed to be the earliest apartment building in Sydney and still survives.[43]

During the interwar years, apartment building continued in inner Melbourne (particularly in areas such as St Kilda and South Yarra), Sydney (particularly in areas such as Potts Point, Darlinghust and Kings Cross) and in Brisbane (in areas such as New Farm, Fortitude Valley and Spring Hill).

Post-World War II, with the Australian Dream apartment buildings went out of vogue and flats were seen as accommodation only for the poor. Walk-up flats (without a lift) of two to three storeys however were common in the middle suburbs of cities for lower income groups.

The main exceptions were Sydney and the Gold Coast, Queensland where apartment development continued for more than half a century. In Sydney a limited geography and highly sought after waterfront views (Sydney Harbour and beaches such as Bondi) made apartment living socially acceptable. While on the Gold Coast views of the ocean, proximity to the beach and a large tourist population made apartments a popular choice. Since the 1960s, these cities maintained much higher population densities than the rest of Australia through the acceptance of apartment buildings.

In other cities, apartment building was almost solely restricted to public housing. Public housing in Australia was common in the larger cities, particularly in Melbourne (by the Housing Commission of Victoria) where a huge number of hi-rise housing commission flats were built between the 1950s and 1970s by successive governments as part of an urban renewal program. Areas affected included Fitzroy, Flemington, Collingwood, Carlton, Richmond and Prahran. Similar projects were run in Sydney's lower socio-economic areas like Redfern.

In the 1980s, modern apartment buildings sprang up in riverside locations in Brisbane (along the Brisbane River) and Perth (along the Swan River).

In Melbourne, in the 1990s, a trend began for apartment buildings without the requirement of spectacular views. As a continuation of the gentrification of the inner city, a fashion became New York "loft" style apartments (see above) and a large stock of old warehouses and old abandoned office buildings in and around the central business district became the target of developers. The trend of adaptive reuse extended to conversion of old churches and schools. Similar warehouse conversions and gentrification began in Brisbane suburbs such as Teneriffe, Queensland and Fortitude Valley and in Sydney in areas such as Ultimo. As supply of buildings for conversion ran out, reproduction and post modern style apartments followed. The popularity of these apartments also stimulated a boom in the construction of new hi-rise apartment buildings in inner cities. This was particularly the case in Melbourne which was fuelled by official planning policies (Postcode 3000), making the CBD the fastest growing, population wise in the country. Apartment building in the Melbourne metropolitan area has also escalated with the advent of the Melbourne 2030 planning policy. Urban renewal areas like Docklands, Southbank, St Kilda Road and Port Melbourne are now predominantly apartments. There has also been a sharp increase in the number of student apartment buildings in areas such as Carlton in Melbourne.

Despite their size, other smaller cities including Canberra, Darwin, Townsville, Cairns, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide and Geelong have begun building apartments in the 2000s.

Today, residential buildings Eureka Tower and Q1 are the tallest in the country. In many cases, apartments in inner city areas of the major cities can cost much more than much larger houses in the outer suburbs.

Some Australian cities, such as Gold Coast, Queensland, are inhabited predominantly by apartment dwellers.

The development of residential architecture in Yugoslavia during the period of socialism had its peak in the 1960s and 1970s. Significant progress in construction was accompanied by housing research directed towards finding the optimal urbanistic solutions for the newly formed lifestyle of the socialist society. The tendency was to "pack" as many residential units as possible into each building, almost up to the limits of the functional minimum, at the same time with the aim of setting a more humane pattern of living.[44] As a consequence of these aspirations, the following concepts emerged, making the core of housing research: (a) apartments with an extended circulation area, (b) apartments with a central sanitary core, (c) apartments with a circular connection and (d) apartments with extended perspectives ("an enfilade”).[45]

These "socialist" ideas for the organization of living space had a firm base in theoretical research and underwent the phase of testing in architectural competitions, housing seminars and congresses, which made them spread over the whole territory of t

These "socialist" ideas for the organization of living space had a firm base in theoretical research and underwent the phase of testing in architectural competitions, housing seminars and congresses, which made them spread over the whole territory of the country.[46]

The process of humanizing housing was not characteristic only in the Yugoslav context; similar ideas also appeared in other socialist countries of that period, as in the example of pre-fabricated housing construction in the Soviet Union (Khrushchyovka), Czechoslovakia (Panelák), Hungary (Panelház) and East Germany (Plattenbau).[47]