Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Wednesday called an urgent meeting on the issues surrounding refugee estates, which is due to take place on Thursday.

The announcement comes just one day after the House refugee committee called for immediate steps to be taken to improve the condition of 43 apartment buildings used by refugees, which were deemed unsuitable and dangerous.

The meeting was convened after a consultation with the president, and will be held at the interior ministry with the participation of officials from the relevant departments, House refugee committee chair Nikos Kettiros, and the heads of the union of municipalities, the Pancyprian refugee union, and scientific and technical chamber Etek.

A source told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that Ioannou has also instructed the department of town planning to prepare scenarios for the urgent management of the issue, in order to immediately draw up a comprehensive plan of actions to be implemented, “without delay with the aim of a comprehensive solution of the problem”.

The terms of the mandate concern a holistic approach to all settlements housing refugees, speeding up the existing timetables and prioritising the cases with the greatest risk, also taking into account the legal issues, which create obstacles to the whole effort.

Sources also said that during the meeting, these legal and procedural issues will be raised, as well as their inclusion in the action plan that will be drawn up, given that the ownership of the buildings does not belong to the state.

There are legal issues due to the granting of title deeds (Greek-Cypriot properties) or lease certificates (Turkish Cypriot properties), the mortgage of residential units and generally due to the ownership status of apartment buildings, it was explained.