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Czech town buying dilapidated prefab apartment building on housing estate to demolish it

4.5.2017 9:23
The Janov housing estate in Litvínov, where Romani residents have been subjected to harassment and intimidation by the local authority, local media, local police and social workers, property owners and ultra-right political groups for almost a decade. (PHOTO:  Google Maps)
The Janov housing estate in Litvínov, where Romani residents have been subjected to harassment and intimidation by the local authority, local media, local police and social workers, property owners and ultra-right political groups for almost a decade. (PHOTO: Google Maps)

The Czech municipality of Litvínov will buy one of the dilapidated prefabricated apartment buildings at the problem-filled Janov housing estate. Town assembly members decided on 28 April to pay the owner, the CPI byty company, CZK 345 000 [EUR 13 000] for it.

The town hall is planning to demolish the building. Mayor Kamila Bláhová (ANO) said the town hall has long been in negotiations with the owner.

The purchase offer was made for one building, chosen from two that the company owns. The town hall ultimately chose to buy a building on Gluckova Street with six entrances.

The other property has a lien on it. "The location will get some breathing room. This disfigurement will finally disappear. Everything else that will be built there will just be of benefit to the locality," the mayor told the Czech News Agency.

The town hall wants to raise money for the demolition from a Regional Development Ministry susbidy program. That program will pay 80 % of the cost of a demolition, up to a maximum of CZK 5 million [EUR 187 000].

Previously, thanks to that program, the town demolished a former residential hotel located in the center. "That's the route we would like to go. The question remains whether we will manage to design and implement everything by the deadline for filing the application," the mayor said.

The last two calls for applications for subsidies have always been announced by the ministry in the autumn. The town hall wants to negotiate with CPI about buying out another five buildings.

"We would be glad if CPI would be open to selling all of the dilapidated buildings they are administering, but unfortunately, the negotiations do not yet indicate that they are," the mayor said. Other owners also have destroyed and empty apartment buildings still standing at Janov.

In those cases, however, buying out the properties would be problematic for the town. "There are dilapidated buildings where each apartment unit has a different owner, administering the property together, and in those cases it is almost impossible. The landlords are property owners who are not available to negotiate and we have not yet managed to contact them all. That's an enormous problem there," the mayor said.

The Janov housing estate is considered an excluded locality. A large part of the remaining occupants of the buildings there are Romani people and the socially vulnerable.

The complex situation at Janov has existed for many years. In 2008 the housing estate was targeted by right-wing radicals for demonstrations.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Housing, Janov, Litvínov, vyloučená lokalita



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