NewsLocalLimassol Municipality planning homeless shelter

Limassol Municipality planning homeless shelter

Limassol Municipality is planning to set up a shelter for the homeless, Mayor Nicos Nicolaides said on Monday speaking after a meeting with the welfare services.

“The aim is to ensure that no one is left on the streets,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.

The issue will now go to the Labour Minister and to the municipal council, he added.

He would not elaborate further as procedures are still at their initial stages.

The municipality had earlier announced that a homeless shelter would operate at the Ayios Panteleimonas building complex. The complex belongs to the municipality and is to refurbished in order to host up to five men and five women for a few days, until permanent housing can be found by the state.

Figures submitted to parliament recently by Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou show that there has been a significant increase in the number of homeless people in Cyprus.

In total, the welfare services dealt with 129 cases in 2017, compared to 49 in 2016 and 26 in 2015.

The majority were third country nationals or EU citizens. Some are here illegally or have settled in Cyprus in search of work, she said.

The House Labour Committee has been discussing the sharp increase in rents islandwide, and particularly in Limassol and the problems this has created for vulnerable groups.

The sharp spike in rents has prompted protests both in Nicosia and Limassol.

MPs have urged the government to draw up a comprehensive housing strategy and to take measures to deal with the problem.

According to the ministry’s figures, welfare workers handled 47 homeless cases in Nicosia in 2017, compared to one in 2016 and none in 2015.

In Limassol, the numbers were 13 in 2015, 21 in 2016 and 24 in 2017.

In Larnaca,  there were four cases in 2015, 21 in 2016 and 40 in 2017 while in Paphos there were six in 2015 and six in 2016 and 15 in 2017.

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