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Nearly 3,000 refugees still waiting for title deeds

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More than 2,700 refugees are still waiting to be given the title deeds due to slow procedures, MPs heard on Tuesday.

The issue was discussed at the House refugee committee.

Head of the committee, Akel MP Skevi Koukouma, said after the meeting that the steps taken as regards giving title deeds for refugee estates “are moving at a snail’s pace.”

“It is disappointing because the refugees living in these estates have been waiting for that piece of paper guaranteeing that the house they live in, is theirs,” Koukouma said.

As regards self-built refugee housing, whereby refugees are given land to build their homes on, 3,527 lease certificates and 1,995 title deeds are pending.

In refugee estates, 738 people are waiting to be given title deeds, while authorities are yet to issue 1,916 lease certificates.

Koukouma said that these numbers may change since new estates have been built.

She also said that a bill has been prepared regulating issues concerning refugee houses built on Turkish Cypriot land.

Koukouma expressed the wish for the issue to be resolved quickly.

“There have been cases we had to intervene since the state services asked the heirs of the beneficiaries to leave the house because according to the existing law, they are not considered beneficiaries themselves,” she said.

The committee finds unacceptable that, on the one hand, the state is delaying and on the other it is evicting these people. She added that following some arrangements, the eviction of people was avoided.

 

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