The need to urgently address problems at three refugee settlements in the Latsia area was discussed at the House refugee committee on Tuesday.
The 36 apartment blocks under discussion which were built in two phases in 1977 and 1988 need either to be demolished or repaired. Three blocks which were beyond repair have already been demolished and new ones are being built in their place. In the meantime, their occupants are staying in flats for which the government is paying.
The state is conducting audits at an estimated cost of €50,000, the committee learnt, to examine the buildings decided whether the buildings can be repaired or should be demolished.
“We needed to start the studies sooner and not stay with studies. It’s a matter of safety,” committee president Skevi Koukouma said at the end of Tuesday’s session.
She complained of the state’s vague promises and asked for the update of statistics from 2012.
For her part, Disy MP Mariella Aristidou said that the total cost for the construction of the three apartment buildings and the repair of the others will amount to € 1.38 million.
“What we are aiming for is to speed up the procedures for building and repairing apartment blocks so that they are safe and free of problems. We owe it to the refugees, and the government is acting to the extent of its financial capabilities, “she said.
The Latsia mayor pointed out that 82 per cent of the municipality’s inhabitants are refugees and stressed that there is a safety problem in some of the apartment buildings.
“Our goal is to proceed immediately to the demolition of the apartment blocks that have a problem and to repair the others,” he said.
There are three refugee settlements in the municipality, Apostolos Andreas, Apostolos Loucas and Agios Eleftherios.