The interior ministry will grant monetary assistance to Pissouri residents who were forced to leave their homes after they became uninhabitable due to landslides so that they can afford temporary housing, it was announced on Thursday.
The announcement followed a cabinet decision on Wednesday to residents of the Pissouri area known as Limnes where many homes have virtually collapsed.
The assistance that will be granted following an application to the district administration is for temporary housing and will be assessed in the same way as the guaranteed minimum income, the ministry said.
The government had pledged ad hoc financial assistance to residents in June, but stressed that this was not compensation
Thursday’s announcement stressed that the decision to grant assistance was not in any way connected or had any bearing on the decision that will be made on the basis of a study that is expected mid-2020.
“Also, it should not be perceived in any way as assumption of responsibility on behalf of the state over the problem created due to the instability of the earth,” the ministry said.
Along with the assistance, the cabinet decided to undertake work to shore up the area ahead of the study into the causes of the landslides.
One of the immediate measures would be to construct a retaining wall along Kimonos Street in a bid to stabilise the area while the water development department will redesign the main sewerage system to cover the entire community. Work on the system will start as soon as the area was stabilised.
Subsidies will also be granted to seal existing absorption pits and replace them with watertight tanks. The scheme applies to owners of homes in the area that faces the landslide front.
The measure concerns the south side, the houses in the central part up to the Apostolos Andreas Street, and the individual residences next to the Panayia Akonopetra chapel on the north side.
Affected owners will also be asked to review the initial structural studies of their houses with a view of putting measures in place to secure their homes, the ministry said.
Many of the affected homes in the area have virtually collapsed, the result of a continuous and accelerating landslip. Homes and gardens have been ripped apart, walls and pools are collapsing and roads have split and buckled becoming impassable.
Residents insist that the catastrophic damage to their properties is due to land slippage triggered by uncontrolled groundwater belonging to the state and as such they are victims of a natural disaster and are entitled to state compensation by law.