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Ioannou says refugees will be given options to move out during renovations

refugee house
A refugee estate in Limassol

Residents in dangerous refugee apartment buildings that will undergo renovation or be completely rebuilt are set to receive a lump sum to pay rent elsewhere, as the state will take on the cost refurbishment, Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Friday.

Speaking in the morning, Ioannou said that the first phase will deal with the 43 of the 358 refugee buildings to, which were deemed to have serious construction issues and static inadequacy.

Ioannou told Politis radio that after the studies are done to determine whether the buildings need to be renovated or rebuilt, the residents will be given a choice to leave and rent somewhere else.

After bringing the interior ministry a rental agreement, the tenant, who has had to move, will be able to receive a lump sum to cover the rent as the construction work is being conducted on their building.

“I want to reiterate that our first priority is to ensure the safety of all residents of the homes and therefore, once the plan is in place soon, any homes that are deemed to be dangerous the temporary relocation of the residents will be arranged so that all of the necessary actions can be taken in order to immediately start the repair or reconstruction works in those  buildings,” he said.

The sum of money people will be given for the rent of new place, while the construction works are being conducted will be around €600 a month for each apartment, Ioannou said.

He added that the €600 will be for a one-bedroom apartment, while in the cases where a bigger apartment will be needed the lump sum will increase in accordance with needs.

The minister said that in these cases, an adviser will be appointed to the residents of the buildings, who will be approved by the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (Etek), that will explain the details of the reconstruction.

Commenting on cases where the resident may not want to leave and pay rent elsewhere, Ioannou said part of the plan stipulates that the resident will be allowed to be bought out of the apartment at the estimated value of the premises and land recorded at the land registry, and that the apartment would then be returned to the hands of the government.

Ioannou clarified that the amounts for the buyout of residents not wishing to leave has not been hashed out yet.

In a written statement about the plan issued from the interior ministry, the head of the house refugee committee Nikos Kettiros said that it is positive that the plan aims to cover the problem of all the refugee apartment buildings.

“We conveyed to the minister some concerns about possible difficulties that will arise during the implementation of the plan, but we assured that Akel will constructively approach every attempt to deal with the issue fundamentally,” he said.

 

 

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