Cyprus Mail

Demolition of unsafe refugee housing due to start

Officials on a tour of the housing (file photo)

Within the coming week, the demolition of the first condemned refugee apartment buildings within the Latsia municipality will begin as part of the initial phase of the plan to demolish a total of 43 complexes that have been deemed uninhabitable.

The buildings are located in the Apostolos Andreas refugee estate and are among 20 which have been earmarked for immediate demolition under the Ktizo scheme for Greek Cypriot refugee housing.

The first phase of the project concerns 43 buildings deemed structurally unsafe. Of these, 20 have been classed as ‘imminently dangerous’.

According to the interior ministry the interest in participating in the Ktizo project reached 274 applications for various aspects from demolitions to renovations.

‘Ktizo’ – meaning ‘build’ in Greek – is a scheme providing grants to people currently living in condemned buildings and who choose to relocate to newly constructed buildings, or alternatively subsidies for those choosing to opt out and instead rent in the private sector.

The interior ministry unveiled the ambitious plan back in April.

According to the ministry, the contractor who has undertaken the demolition of the apartment buildings in Latsia has started preparation work with the removal of wooden, metal and other objects.

A contract was signed on October 31 for the demolition of five condemned apartment blocks in the refugee estates in Latsia.

New apartment buildings will subsequently be built within the same area, in which the condemned buildings’ former residents will live.

The contract signed is worth €86,600 plus VAT. It was signed by Town Planning Department Director Kyriakos Koundouros and Metaxotos Ltd & Sandworks (Ormidia) Ltd JV directors Panagiotis Nikiforou and Giorgos Georgiou.

The announcement of the buildings’ impending demolition was initially made in September, after Latsia mayor Christos Pittaras had earlier told the House refugee committee he could “not rule out” involving the police should people refuse to move out of the buildings.

Meanwhile, the Town Planning Department is preparing to put out tenders for the demolition of 15 other buildings which have been deemed “immediately dangerous” and are currently being evacuated.

The buildings are located in Strovolos, Deftera, Aglandjia and Kato Polemidia.



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