Displaced persons live in cars while waiting for Turkish Cypriot property

Complaints from evacuees sleeping in their vehicles - They are asking for housing allowance

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Homeless displaced people are living in their cars waiting for the availability of Turkish Cypriot properties to house them, said to the Parliamentary Committee for Refugees, Detainees, Missing Persons, Sufferers. director of the Turkish Cypriot Property Management Service, George Matthaiopoulos.

In his statements, the Chairman of the Committee, AKEL Member of Parliament, Nikos Kettiros, said that Mr. Matthaiopoulos informed the members of the committee that only today he had three letters in his office from people who live in the car and request to be granted a Turkish Cypriot residence. to have a roof over their heads.

"During the session, our position was confirmed that the termination of the refugee housing policy in 2013 and the absence of substantial proposals from the present Government, created tragic facts. We have heard before the committee today that many displaced persons, who are not able to benefit from Care Service schemes, are forced to sleep in the car," said Mr Kettiros.

In addition to those who are forced to live in their cars, there are also others who "are forced to live 7, 8 and 10 people in houses with their parents or with their siblings, 2-3 families together", added Mr. Kettiros, noting that this is an issue that should concern the Government, the political leader, the Minister of the Interior, as it is an issue that is social and creates chain problems.

Asked where these people lived before, the Chairman of the Commission said that these are cases where they were renting and with the termination of their contract the landlord, with the increase in rents, wants to evict them to rent it more expensively. These people, he said, who may also be welfare recipients or pensioners, cannot afford to rent at market rates.

"When he can't rent and present a rental document to the welfare service to get the rent subsidy, when he can't put up 2-3 rents as a guarantee to be able to sign a rental document, when he can't buy a house or granted a Turkish Cypriot residence, because there is no reserve, his only option is to find a relative to host him, or, unfortunately, to live in the car," he said.

He noted that this issue will be resolved by taking a political decision to start the housing policy, at least for the lowest income strata. "And I'm not just referring, obviously, to people who are displaced. There are also indigenous people who present serious problems and I think that this should be taken seriously by the state, because, for some years now, unfortunately there have been homeless people in Cyprus and we all know cases and we all face such situations", he noted, mentioning that the phenomenon is observed in all provinces.

For her part, DISY MP Rita Theodorou Superman stated that she considers that it is not a solution "to evict some Turkish Cypriot property owners, in order to house some others, who are currently, as we have been told, living in their cars" .

He noted that it is a broader issue that should be handled by the executive branch, the issue of the homeless, whether they are refugees or not.

The deputy of DIKO, Zacharias Koulias, said that the state must take care to design a system for building houses, like the workers' houses. "We have two institutions, the Land and Housing Organization, that the state must plan and build housing with programs to relieve young people who want to acquire housing. I hope the new President will understand it well, because the housing problem was one of the issues he told us", he noted, stating that it is not a solution to deprive displaced persons of Turkish Cypriot housing because they acquired an apartment after years.

Source: KYPE