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24 May 2023

20 hazardous buildings for refugees to be demolished in Cyprus

Out of the 43 multi-storey buildings in refugee settlements that were recently deemed unsafe for habitation, 20 will be demolished.

This was announced by Cyprus Minister of Interior, Constantinos Ioannou, on Tuesday, May 23.

He noted that this decision was based on additional inspections and assessments conducted by engineers from the technical chamber Etek and local municipal officials. Specifically, experts confirmed the concerns of the Refugee Affairs Committee, stating in their report that 20 buildings are at risk of collapsing at any moment, and therefore immediate evacuation of people from these buildings is necessary.

Ioannou explained that out of the 20 hazardous buildings, 18 are located in the Nicosia area: 5 in Latsia, 2 in Kato Deftera, 2 in Aglantzia, and 9 in Strovolos. The remaining 2 hazardous structures are in Limassol, in Kato Polemidia. The Minister clarified that the remaining 23 multi-storey buildings have also been deemed unfit for habitation. However, work on those buildings will commence at a later stage.

The residents of the 20 hazardous buildings will be evacuated, while the residents of the remaining 23 structures will be allowed to stay in their apartments. However, it is strongly recommended that they express their interest in participating in the "KtiZo" scheme in order to receive subsidies from the government. It is acknowledged that it will be inconvenient for the residents to leave their apartments and seek temporary housing in the private sector or with relatives until the construction of new multi-storey buildings begins. Nevertheless, this is necessary. Ioannou emphasized that the safety of people and ensuring dignified living conditions are a priority for the government of Cyprus.

It is worth noting that in early March, the Refugee Affairs Committee expressed concern about multi-storey buildings for resettled individuals from the island's uncontrolled areas.

The department responsible for the repair of these buildings, the Department of Town Planning, stated that it is not cost-effective to renovate the houses as they were constructed with materials dating back 50 years.

Currently, there are 2,932 residential buildings for Greek Cypriot refugees on an area of 901,129 square meters belonging to Turkish Cypriots. There are ten government settlements in Paphos, seven in Larnaca, eight in Limassol, and seven in Nicosia. This real estate is managed by a special service that was established in 1991. Many of these properties are in very poor condition due to a lack of investment.

The "Ktizo" renovation program is expected to span 10 years. The first step involves demolishing and repairing the 43 most dangerous residential complexes. The residents will be evacuated and receive subsidies. They will be offered two options:

  1. temporarily relocate to another place and then receive an apartment in a newly constructed building on the site of their demolished complex
  2. receive a one-time compensation from the government for their property and land share.

The "KtiZo" program categorizes beneficiaries into three categories:

  1. Category 1 includes first-generation refugees, as well as second, third, and fourth-generation refugees who have inherited hazardous properties and hold property ownership titles.
  2. Category 2 includes refugees who purchased property in residential complexes using funds provided by the government.
  3. Category 3 includes residents who bought apartments from refugees.

Fixed prices will be set for apartments in the new buildings constructed on the sites of the demolished hazardous structures: 40,000 euros for a one-bedroom apartment, 60,000 euros for a two-bedroom apartment, and 75,000 euros for a three-bedroom apartment. This amount will be partially covered by government subsidies, and the beneficiaries will be required to contribute the remaining amount from their own funds.

Residents of hazardous housing who choose not to receive an apartment in a newly constructed building on the site of the demolished one can claim compensation, the amount of which will depend on the cadastral value of the property and land. If the hazardous building is not demolished but requires repairs, the government will cover those expenses.

20 аварийных зданий в поселениях для беженцев на Кипре снесут

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