What or where was the shi**iest place you've ever lived?

I was just watching a US movie (name not important or anything) but it showed a trailer-park in the middle of a dustbowl and it got me thinking.

I’ve NEVER lived in a place like that, well, especially as trailer-parks aren’t really a thing in Australia. The closest we have are caravan-parks, and mostly they are in relatively nice places with lots of grass and trees and stuff.

But looking back, I reckon the shittiest HOUSE I ever lived in was back when I was about 7yrs old. It was very small and I had to share a bedroom with two older sisters. It had a pan-toilet out in the backyard that was emptied weekly by the ‘night-soil man’, had no actual heating or cooling, and was infested with mosquitoes during the warmer months.

Since then, despite always being in the lowest socio-economic demographic, I’ve lived in decent and sometimes not-so-decent houses and oftentimes in some of the ‘best’ suburbs/cities in Australia. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I suspect my experience is more common in Aus than in other parts of the world.

So what did you live in, or where did you live that was the shittiest you’ve experienced?

When I first worked in Kabul, I lived and worked in an apartment above a store, the power would go out frequently and this really mean and really aggressive feral cat kept getting in. When it was around I had to shut myself in the back bedroom until it left.

I forgot to mention, the shitty house I lived in was actually in a beautiful seaside town, so it wasn’t all negative.

And @madmonk, sorry to hear about your travails with the cat. I’m actually intrigued that a feral kitty would invade your space!

When I was in college, I had been sharing a house with another student, but the arrangement soured and I had to find another place, and fast.

I wound up in an older house that had been divided into 3 apartments - I was on the ground floor.
The bathroom was cobbled together at the foot of a flight of stairs (fortunately, it was sealed off from the apartment upstairs.) It had no shower - just a tub, so I got a hand-held sprayer that attached over the faucet. I really hated baths, but this was the best I could do. Oh, and the bathroom entrance was thru the kitchen - not particularly convenient to the bedroom.

I could literally see into the basement at some points along the baseboard - there was a gap between the wall and the floor. I discovered this one evening when the landlord had left the basement lights on. No one lived down there, fortunately.

When the couple in the ground-floor addition moved out, the landlord sprayed for roaches. I awoke with roaches climbing on me! :scream:

It was also sorta semi-furnished, which included a small sun porch that was full of random crap. I just kept that door closed since I had no need of that space.

The apartment above me was a sort of group home arrangement for two men with mild mental handicaps. They weren’t dangerous or anything, but for a single college woman living alone, encountering them and their mumbling rambles was somewhat unnerving.

But it was cheap, utilities were included, and it was available when I needed to move. I was only there a year, and I know it wasn’t the worst situation in the world, but it was the worst I’d had to live in.

The worst was probably Navy housing in Massachusetts. It was an old six-plex that had been poorly maintained over the years, had serious plumbing issues, and tissue paper walls. The toilet backed up and overflowed on Thanksgiving day one year. Turned out the neighbor brat had flushed his underwear (the unit drains were wyed together).

NAS Oceana enlisted housing colloquially known in the mid 80s as The Roach Motel because it was old wooden barracks built for WW2 and absolutely infested.

I lived in Ocean View - it was military/white slums for Norfolk, it was beachfront =) I didn’t worry about the biker house across the street, they were pretty chill people [though they did have a tendency to shoot at street lights for fun] the strippers, the hookers and their pimps, the random military and white people living there on the lower end of the economic scale [like me =)] It was the freaking yuppies and frat boys out cruising for hookers or free nookie. They would get it through their heads that every female down there was available for a price and would get aggressive at being told no. And the properties there were pretty run down, when I moved in to my half of a duplex, the other side was empty for the first 5 months - the owner bug bombed the living hell out of the place right before I had moved in and it was surprisingly roach and fly free until some people moved in. We figure the roaches came in inside the moving boxes, apparently they are known for hiding inside the layers of glued together box edges [you know, they are folded and glued to make bottoms, then we tape the top flaps closed]

The crap-ass duplex we moved into after mom got us away from asshole dad. I don’t blame her for putting us wherever she could, given the situation, but it was still bad. Small, cheap, fleas left over from the previous tenant, back yard that faced a very busy and loud through street.

The neighbor family across the cul-de-sac had five kids, who were very friendly and welcoming and ingratiated themselves to me and my brother very quickly. We all thought this was a plus, until we discovered that they were doing this so some of the kids could keep us busy in one room while the remainder looked in the other rooms for things to steal.

A basement flat, below street level, a few doors down from the left edge of this photo in London, mid 70s.

It was really just a basement, partitioned into 2 rooms with a “kitchen” under the stairs. There was a toilet out the back and coin operated bathrooms upstairs in what where the original living quarters of a once grand home. It was freezing cold, condensation continually ran down the walls. Little light could get in. The local kids seemed to break in at will but we had nothing for them to steal. So too the mice and rats, but we had nothing for them to eat.

But we were lucky to have it. The agent rented it to us assuming that my wife and I were Australian. I couldn’t, as I had assumed, having lived here since I was 2, get an Aussie passport. So I was travelling on a British passport. This meant that they couldn’t kick us out with all the other foreign tenants when they began to renovate the buildings.

Decades later the area is very upmarket - Bill Granger has his restaurant there, as does Ottolenghi and the Michelin starred The Ledbury is at the end of the block in the photo. A meal there for my then wife and I would cost about a year’s rent.

The crappiest place I ever lived (for only a few months, thankfully) was a rundown “hotel” in a small Iowa town. It did have a sink and a lumpy bed, but the communal bathroom down the hall was…unpleasant. The clientele was dodgy but there were swell evening gatherings around the flickering TV in the lobby.

You mean, like the Mudgeeraba Caravan Village, and this lovely garden spot? :face_in_clouds:

I spent a summer in a small hut adjacent to a trailer park in Sitka, Alaska. (for those of you from SItka, you may know it as “Fred’s Place”)

It was tiny (one room plus a small gross bathroom), and the windows didn’t open. The neighbors were loud drunks. It was 10 feet from the main road. And we had slugs inside the house.

Augusta, GA. Hot as hell in the summer, the sulfurous smell of paper mills, no redeeming culture to speak of (unless you’re into golf). The nearest civilization is Atlanta which is 2 hours away.

There are places like that all over Alaska. The summer before I went into the Navy, I was working on a highway project on the Kenai Peninsula. I ended up sharing a shack with another guy; the place had no electricity or running water. Not that I cared all that much. After a day’s work, all I wanted to do was sleep.

My second apartment here in Toronto was a bit of a nightmare. I think the building had been a hotel back in the earlier part of the last century, and had been divided into apartments kind of haphazardly. I had a fair bit of floorspace, but no windows looking out into anything other than an internal alley, so I had no direct sunlight at any time. Also: baseboard electric heaters rather than hot water radiators, high ceilings and hardwood floors. All a perfect storm for crazy heating bills. All winter I’d be wearing multiple layers at home, and kept the heat on only in the bathroom, and I’d still get a bi-monthly bill for about $180 (in 2001 dollars). Also had mice and ants there, and they’d get everywhere; one morning I was eating a bowl of Life cereal in front of the teevee, looked down and saw dozens of ants swimming in the milk. It was also a bit of a cruddy neighborhood back in the day (it’s apparently been quite gentrified now), and getting propositioned by a 200-lb Polish hooker when I’d get off the streetcar wasn’t uncommon. It was also the very last block in the city to get power back after the big blackout of 2003.

My next apartment eventually turned into a pest control nightmare as well, but it did have normal radiators. The first time I got a Hydro bill, it was for about $55, and I nearly wept with joy.

When we first moved to DC, we wanted to find something short-ish term while we got a feel for the area and where we wanted to live.

We saw an ad for a 6 month sublet near Dupont Circle that would fill the bill nicely. A third floor efficiency (I think that’s the term): there was actually a separate kitchen, but the living / bedroom was all one room.

The kitchen appliances were from the 1950s at best (the stove was likely older). There were roaches. The landlord decided to renovate the building (which was half empty) without benefit of permits, and his work kept getting shut down, so we literally had no furnace for the building. To solve that, he put SPACE HEATERS in each unit. He had to run an extra electrical circuit to handle those, as the fuse box could not support them.

For 6 months, we could deal with it. But we moved into our new place the day we closed on it, even though we had no furniture yet.

Before that: my senior year in college. Typical somewhat run down student apartments. We could see daylight around the doorframe and the windows leaked like a sieve. Which turns out to have been a health and safety feature: my roommates and I put up plastic over the window frames to keep the place warmer - and spent the next 2 months feeling EXHAUSTED. Years later, I realized that we were probably suffering from low-level carbon monoxide exposure.

Imagine the Big Bang Theory apartment building infested with cockroaches. Lived on the 4th floor, the elevator did not work and it was in a sketchy area of San Diego. But as a lowly E-3 in the Navy, I needed a place for me, my then wife and son to live. After 3 months there, found out my wife was screwing around with a couple other tenants. Sent her and my son home and moved onto the ship I was assigned to. Just before I left San Diego, the city condemned the building. Noticed on Google maps it is still there.

All of my first year domiciles in Philadelphia (school), Cleveland (school), and Miami (residency) were run down and roach infested. German cockroaches in Philly and Cleveland; palmetto bugs (i.e. VW beetle-sized cockroaches) in Miami.

But, the worst part was that they were in high-crime areas of town. The first week in my Philly row-house apartment, a secretary from our school was shot and killed (gang crossfire according to the news) on the sidewalk across the street from my house.

The same year, my apartment was burglarized. My roommate and I had just gotten back from walking our dog, walked in the back door, and startled the burglar who had my portable TV in his hand. He dropped the TV (broke it) and ran out the front door. Ironically, we got the dog (a Great Dane named Guinevere) specifically to protect the apartment from break-ins. But, it was because of the dog (taking her for a walk) that we were broken into. Sweet dog, lousy protector.

My second month living in Miami, I was awoken by a commotion outside. Then I heard someone trying to open my front door (luckily it was locked). I looked out my front window and saw the same someone trying to enter the apartment across the aisle from mine. Then I heard the police on a megaphone. Stop! Drop your weapon! Then I heard two gunshots and the perpetrator was down (killed). I later learned he was a fugitive on the run. He apparently shot first.

That was almost as scary as the palmetto bugs.

The worst place I’ve ever lived was in Little Rock, Arkansas. The house was built in the early 1960s, many of the windows didn’t close properly, and the place was infested with roaches when I moved in. The first night I was there, I stepped ouside and found a lot of roaches crawling up and down the exterior walls. As bad as that was, living in the neighborhood was very stressful. After a few years, I stopped caring about the gunshots I’d hear at night unless they were especially close to the house. One of my neighbors shot and killed a 17 year old kid who broke into his house in the middle of the night. A few days later, that kid’s friends shot up the house in a drive-by shooting but nobody was hurt.

But none of that is what made it miserable for me. While living there, my truck was broken into on three separate occasions. One time they smashed the window out but I was happy they didn’t do that the other two times. Many of my neighbors had their homes broken into, one person on multiple occasions, and another had his dog stolen on one occasion. I lived in a constant state of fear that someone would break into my home while I was at work and leaving for more than a day was considerably stressful.

My first week there, I had to call the police because 15+ young people decided my front yard was a great place to have a brawl. (And holy cow, if you want the entire LRPD to show up at your house call them about a large brawl.) I called the police on numerous occasions because of gunshots as well as my drunk neighbors screaming bloody murder in the wee hours of the night. I had to stop wearing my i-Pod when walking because there were frequent muggings. I didn’t do this to avoid being targeted, I did this so I could remain aware of my surroundings and make it more difficult for anyone to sneak up on me.

I would say, but I think some Dopers on this Board live there, and I don’t want to insult them. Suffice to say I’m glad that I don’t live there anymore.

You’re talking about my house, aren’t you?! :rage:

Used to be called Sepulveda, now called North Hills, in the San Fernando Valley, CA.

This was around 1984.

Trashy, crowed, roach-infested, gang-infested, the occasional dead body in the street…

I have driven through since. It has gotten better, but not THAT much better.