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October 1, 2020



Czech residential hotel cut off from water has no front door either

Ústí nad Labem, 18.7.2014 23:41, (ROMEA)
The residential hotel on Na Nivách Street in Ústí nad Labem. (PHOTO:   printscreen Google Maps)
The residential hotel on Na Nivách Street in Ústí nad Labem. (PHOTO: printscreen Google Maps)

The occupants of a residential hotel in the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem have been dependent on a municipally-provided cistern for their water for almost two weeks now. Even though the tenants have been properly paying their rent and deposits for utilities, the owners of the facility, the Joni family, owe about CZK 500 000 in unpaid electricity and water bills.   

A press spokesperson for the ČEZ power company said it would do its best to avoid taking the radical step of cutting power to the building. The property has liens against it and the tenants are trying to find other housing.

The Ústí nad Labem branch of the People in Need (Člověk v tísni) organization has offered them its assistance. "We are currently working with 12 families, accompanying them to the authorities and calling the landlords on their behalf. The town of Ústí nad Labem is not currently able to offer them anything, there isn't even crisis housing available. We therefore must look for commercial housing, which naturally isn't easy. We do have contact with landlords with whom we have had good experiences. We also know which ones we definitely do not want to recommend to the people from the residential hotel - those residential hotel owners also own other apartments here," Radka Kunešová of People in Need told news server  

The building on Na Nivách Street no longer has an exterior door, so it remains constantly open and accessible to anyone. Another acute problem is security, because a large number of drug addicts roam the area.  

Almost 50 people including young children live in the residential hotel. The media are reporting that metal components have gone missing from the cistern parked outside the building and those discussing those news items online are speculating that local Romani people have stolen them.

"I don't believe the people living in the residential hotel would have stolen them, that would be against their own interests. They have enough work to do with finding new housing. There are families with children there, they don't want to live in a place without running water where the power might be cut and the building can't even be locked. We don't know who is doing it, but there are a lot of drug addicts here," Kunešová said.   

The cistern is not completely unsupervised in the street, as it is being regularly monitored. Local patrols by both crime prevention assistants and municipal police have also been beefed up. 

Jana Baudyšová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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