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Refuges living in dangerous buildings, House committee hears

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Refugees are living in dangerous buildings in Larnaca and Avdimou that affect their health and safety, the House refugee committee heard on Tuesday.

The problems have been seen in an apartment complex on Larnaca’s Piale Pasha built before 1974 and then used to house refugees.

“The reality is that the building is dangerous, with pipes hanging, crumbling plaster, damp and mould,” committee chair Nicos Kettiros said, adding that relevant services are evading the responsibility of making any repairs.

“Any repairs would only happen on the front, the side facing the coast, the shop window if you will, that will conceal the decline inside”.

Kettiros added that the specific building has been the source of many a controversy in the past, with the owner reportedly closing the communal parking area to build a flat for his son, and not bothering to install a lift, resulting in people having to carry their dead relatives down the stairs.

“We have asked the town planning department to draft an action plan and deliver it to us in a new meeting, where we expect to hear what they plan to do about this,” he said.

The committee also discussed the need to restore a number of listed and abandoned buildings in the community of Avdimou that have been deemed dangerous for the health and safety of local residents.

“The community is literally falling apart because of the many old buildings, and our dilemma is whether to have them restored, or order their demolition,” Kettiros said, adding that the Turkish Cypriot property management service has come up with an action plan.

He said the committee will question all relevant services in the new year to figure out “why they are degrading people” that send them complaints.

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