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MPs highlight state of refugee estates

refugee house
A refugee estate in Limassol

MPs on Friday highlighted the standing problems plaguing refugee estates, especially in Limassol, due to lack of proper maintenance.

The members of the House committee on refugees visited several refugee estates in Limassol to see the problems the residents face.

Head of the committee, Akel MP Nicos Kettiros, said not much attention was being given to the maintenance of estates in the district.

He said refugee estates face many, well-known problems, such as lack of elevators and maintenance problems.

Referring to the refugee estate of Ayios Athanasios, Kettiros said that the committee will monitor the decision for the demolition of the estate’s commercial area and the construction of a new one. He said the local authority had been fighting for several years, so that the old shops area can be demolished for new ones to be built.

“The committee will monitor the issue, because the funds may be in the budget but should be implemented in practice,” Kettiros said.

He also said that the state budget also includes the installation and maintenance of elevators.

Mayor of Ayios Athanasios, Marinos Kyriakou, said that the two large refugee settlements in the municipality face several problems.

 “We have raised with the committee all the issues concerning the two settlements and the problems faced by our refugees and we hope that the committee will monitor these issues so that solutions can be found,” he added.

He said that the state should finally assume its responsibility towards the refugees.

Kettiros also said that self-housing settlements face serious problems as well, especially in terms of people’s requests for property titles and lease certificates. He added that many lease certificates for homes built on Turkish Cypriot land have not been issued despite the commitment that authorities had said they were in the process of issuing them.

According to Kettiros there are still, maintenance issues in the self-housing settlements, as well as in the Turkish Cypriot houses, leased to Greek Cypriot refugees.

The committee visits refugee estates regularly to record problems and monitor progress on maintenance works carried out on the buildings, most of which were built between 30 and 40 ago.

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