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Czech town demolishes yet another building on housing estate with mostly Romani tenants

26.10.2021 7:19
The Chanov housing estate in Most, Czech Republic, July 2021. (PHOTO: Michal Němec, www.mostecka-vlastovka.cz)
The Chanov housing estate in Most, Czech Republic, July 2021. (PHOTO: Michal Němec, www.mostecka-vlastovka.cz)

Next year the Czech town of Most will demolish yet another of the prefabricated apartment buildings at the Chanov housing estate, predominantly inhabited by Romani tenants. Five of the units in the building are occupied and the town will look for substitute housing for the tenants.

The town hall is not counting on installing so-called "container housing" there given how expensive construction work has become, according to Deputy Mayor Marek Hrvola (ProMOST - "For Most"). The local budget for 2022 includes CZK 6 million [EUR 233 000] for demolition.

The town has previously applied for state subsidies for this work and has been rejected more than once. The most recent building to be demolished at Chanov was Block 3, and the town hall covered the cost of that from its own resources.

The originally estimated cost of that demolition was CZK 9 million [EUR 350 000], but it was reduced to CZK 1.8 million [EUR 70 000] through competitive bidding. The Czech Regional Development Ministry has said it is not planning to announce any calls for projects during 2022 in its "Demolition of Buildings in Socially Excluded Localities" program. 

Vilém Frček, a spokesperson for the ministry, informed the Czech News Agency of next year's plans on 19 October. The demolition program has supported a total of 171 projects costing roughly CZK 444 million [EUR 17.25 million]. 

"Municipalities will be able to take advantage of the Brownfields program, administered by the State Fund for Investment Support, for the demolition or partial removal of buildings," the spokesperson said. The leadership in Most had previously counted on installing simple modular housing - "container housing" - at Chanov. 

The cost of acquiring an 18-unit container installation was as high as CZK 35 million [EUR 1.36 million]. "We would not have achieved the originally planned savings, so we stopped the project," Hrvol said. 

When the housing estate was completed at the close of the 1980s there were 13 buildings there with 400 units, and the town estimates anywhere between 1 000 to 2 000 people were living in them. Currently there are eight buildings occupied at Chanov with roughly 700 people living in them.

Since 2002 the town has demolished five buildings on the estate. Unlike other localities, there is enough housing in Most and the town hall is not planning more residential construction.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Chanov, Housing, Most, Socially excluded localities



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