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Czech city says 56 evictees still not rehoused, must move by the end of the week

25.6.2018 15:04
One of the two residential hotels slated for closure in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic on 30 June 2018 -  Ubytovna Modrá. (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)
One of the two residential hotels slated for closure in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic on 30 June 2018 - Ubytovna Modrá. (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)

Of the two residential hotels in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem that are closing their operations on Saturday, 56 people still need to be rehoused. There are 224 people officially registered as living in the facilities.

Some of the evictees, according to City Hall, are allegedly "not interested" in addressing their own housing situations. Romana Macová, the press spokesperson for the city, communicated that assessment after today's coordination meeting, convened by the city.

Of the people registered in the two facilities, one in the city center and one in the Střekov quarter, a minimum of 80 are minors. Most of the evictees are of Romani origin.

The operator of the facilities, Lea Anderlová, announced at the end of May that she would be closing her business by the end of June. The owner of both buildings, the CPI Byty company, said previously that it would not be running the facilities itself.

Ústí nad Labem, according to its press spokesperson, is gradually doing its best to arrange housing for the evictees. Some organizations, however, are criticizing the city's approach or that of the field social workers employed by it.

Amnesty International has called on City Hall to take a responsible, systematic approach to resolving the situation around the two facilities. Several dozen people have repeatedly demonstrated in Ústí nad Labem about the issue and the planned closure of the facilities, in their opinion, will lead to impoverished people, including Romani people, being driven out of the city altogether.

Acting Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister Jaroslava Němcová (ANO) told the Czech News Agency and Czech Radio after negotiations with City Hall that there is no reason for anybody to be left living on the street as a consequence of the closures. However, she also alleged there are people among the evictees who have been offered substitute accommodation that they have rejected.

"Whoever looks for housing does not have to end up on the street," the minister said. City Hall spokesperson Macová said today that "A week ago we had to resolve the situations of 131 people, now it's down to 56, so there is progress and gradually we are managing to deal with this matter."

According to Macová, however, there is a group of people who are not interested in aid. "It's roughly 16 people who have not attended any meetings [with the city] or negotiated with anybody [from the city]," she said.

One residential hotel is in the centrally-located Klíše quarter and the other in Střekov. Because the buildings are privately owned, the city will merely supervise the evictees' removal from them by deploying local police.

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Housing, ubytovny, Ukončení provozu ubytoven v Ústí nad Labem, Ústí nad Labem



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