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Town wants to transform Roma housing estate into portacabin area

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Most, North Bohemia, July 27 (CTK) – The town of Most wants to transform Chanov, a local housing estate with prevailing Roma population, into “a portacabin town”, with portacabins as new homes for the locals who now inhabit devastated pre-fab buildings planned for demolition, Deputy Mayor Marek Hrvol said on Friday.

He told journalists that the Town Hall would no longer invest money in repairing the totally devastated pre-fab blocks of flats. It has already had two pulled down, using a state subsidy, and it plans to apply for another subsidy again now.

The Town Hall would welcome it if the locals stayed in the Chanov neighbourhood.

“If we want to demolish the given block, we have to move them out. We want to offer them an alternative in the form of a simple housing in a type of portacabins resistant to vandalism. Our goal is to arrange a portacabin town in Chanov,” Hrvol said.

In the weeks to come, the Town Hall plans to pull down a block that is in “a catastrophic technical state” and in which 18 flats are inhabited now, Hrvol said, adding that the pulling of another two blocks would follow afterwards.

“We want to build the portacabins first, and only then start the demolition. If the people refuse to move into the portacabins, we would terminate their rent contracts,” he said.

Hrvol said the portacabins can be installed in a fortnight for 200,000 to 700,000 crowns apiece, depending on their size.

Hrvol said the number of Chanov inhabitants, among whom Roma families with children prevail, is impossible to set exactly.

In the October 2017 general election, 765 eligible voters were registered in Chanov.

The Chanov housing estate was established in the late 1980s. The inhabitants totally devastated several of its blocks of flats and the town had some of them demolished in the past.

Portacabin housing was first installed for Roma in the town of Vsetin, north Moravia, 12 years ago, when the project was pushed through by Jiri Cunek, then Vsetin mayor who is now the governor of the whole Zlin region. Some criticised him for discriminating against Romanies by forcibly moving them from a dilapidated house in the town centre to portacabins on the outskirts.

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