During the early 20th century housing was a scarce resource in many European cities, and many families lacked adequate living quarters. Many of the social problems experienced in connection with the rapid urbanisation process were also blamed on poor housing. One way to remedy that was to construct temporary living quarters as a sort of emergency measure.
This image shows a temporary arrangement in the gymnasium in the Central Police Building in Stockholm, 1925-1926. It makes you acutely aware of how living standards have risen in Western Europe in the past century, doesn’t it?