Bahrainis refuse to move into govt homes
Manama, April 18, 2011
Bahrainis waiting for government homes are refusing to move into newly-built apartment blocks because they want houses, it has emerged.
More than 2,000 people in the Central Governorate alone are demanding houses instead of apartments, according to Central Municipal Council member Khaled Al Amer.
The government has already announced plans to build 2,620 housing units for people in the area, including 1,720 houses and 900 apartments, over the next three years.
A total of 253 apartments in Sanad and Salmabad and 318 houses in Salmabad and Zayed Town are due to be completed by the end of this year.
However, the Central Municipal Council is now compiling a report to be submitted to the government, claiming not enough was being done.
Councillor Abdulredha Zuhair said one government apartment block in his constituency was almost empty because people were demanding houses.
'People want houses and not apartments,' he said.
Meanwhile, Al Amer said 2,000 people who applied for government homes had stipulated that they wanted a house.
'Projects should serve citizens' needs and meet the huge demand in our heavily populated governorate, where there are at least 2,000 requests.
'Some of them date back to 1993.'
During a meeting, councillors also called on the Housing Ministry to issue clear timeframes for the construction of homes - saying some planned projects were still awaiting land.
'The land allocated for the housing project (in Buhair) is not even ready for construction to start, so how do they claim the location is ready for work to begin?' asked councillor Ahmed Al Ansari.
'The ministry has to be more specific in its plans. We (councillors) are the ones facing residents' everyday.'
Council chairman Abdulrazzaq Al Hattab has now asked all councillors to submit suggestions to be included in a report that will be submitted to new Housing Minister Bassim Al Hamer.
'We need to meet the new minister and discuss concerns on the various projects they (the ministry) are proposing,' he said.
'Hopefully we will come up with common ground on the projects.'
Our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) reported last week that tenants in government apartment blocks in Salmabad had been forced to abandon their new homes because there was no power or water.
They were handed keys to new flats in around 20 buildings and told the amenities would be connected by the end of last year.
However, authorities said the political turmoil of the past two months had hindered work on a nearby power station, which was needed to provide electricity to the development.
Residents also complained about a lack of paved roads and sewage networks, saying they were now staying with relatives until their apartments are ready.-TradeArabia News Service