Most apartment blocks/houses were built here in communist times. People received them from the state (mostly from state companies) for about 25% of their real value. It had to be so because the state offered a very low pay, amounting to 20$ per month. It was obvious that people couldnt` afford buying their own place for its real value (unless they were businessmen or artists)
Unfortunately, there were always more customers than apartments. In times of baby boom, or severe economic crisis, avarage apartment expectancy rose from a few years to 25 years. They say that apartment shortage caused massive emigration of young couples in 1980s. They had no chance of living in their own houses before turning 50.
Most apartment houses were built in boring shapes and designs and looked ugly. Today they spoil the landscape in all Polish cities, even in the countryside. Many have been renovated and refreshed, many ceased to deter people by their drab greyish colour, but the truth is those communist relics will stay with us for ever, because they are quite sturdy.
Many people bought out their apartments in 1990s and recently (they hadn`t owned them before). As a result, they feel completely at ease in the area, e.g., they ignore no parking signs.