Nearly 200 families reside in refugee housing apartment buildings that have been deemed necessary to be immediately demolished due to their precarious structural condition, which cannot guarantee their ability to withstand potential seismic activity, Phileleftheros reports, citing Ministry of Interior sources.
The demolition procedures which are set to commence promptly affect approximately half of the 43 apartment buildings located in government-run refugee settlements. It is worth noting that the majority of the buildings marked for demolition are situated in the Nicosia province.
Minister of Interior, Constantinos Ioannou, will officially announce the apartment buildings slated for immediate demolition on Tuesday, May 23.
Ioannou has initiated the procedures for demolishing and rebuilding the 43 apartment buildings, as well as the gradual assessment and repair of other buildings facing issues. In addition to the government departments involved, such as the Department of Town Planning and Civil Defense, volunteer groups are being formed to assist with the relocation of tenants and the storage of furniture and household belongings until new apartment buildings are constructed.
Teams from the Ministry of Interior and respective municipalities have commenced visits to the apartment buildings to assess the needs of the residents, considering that there are individuals with special requirements, such as bedridden patients, elderly inhabitants, individuals with health issues, and mobility challenges.
Andreas Theodotou, Vice President of the Technical Chamber of Cyprus (ETEK), who has actively participated in the entire process, said that among the identified problems were corroded steel structures, disintegrated concrete, unstable balconies, excessive humidity (rendering them unsuitable for habitation), and concrete fragments falling off.
Theodotou believes that given the current condition of some of the 43 apartment buildings, evacuating the tenants would be necessary to carry out extensive reinforcement works. When a building is vacated, and its occupants endure hardship without a viable long-term solution, it is more appropriate and productive to proceed with demolition and reconstruction.
It is noteworthy that approximately 11% of the 375 apartments in these 43 apartment buildings, roughly 40 units, have been purchased by non-refugees.