Romani residents of infamous Czech housing estate are repairing dilapidated buildings themselves with the help of the town hall
More than a month ago the town hall of Most, Czech Republic cancelled its tender to build modular or "container" housing on the Chanov housing estate. The reason was the cost of the commission, for which the lowest bid came in at CZK 35.5 million [EUR 1.4 million] before VAT.
The complete reconstruction of the existing housing blocks seemed too costly to the town. Chanov's residents have therefore begun to address the situation by revitalizing apartment units through their own labor.
The town hall of Most is also aiding them in part by financing the construction materials and larger items necessary. "All of the labor on the housing estate is being done by the tenants on their own and they are sourcing some materials by fundraising among themselves. Windows, door frames and other items are being provided by the Most town hall, with whom we managed to reach a very good agreement, and they are actively supporting us. The entire initiative came directly from the residents of these apartment units, which is why we are all quite glad to have these indications that better times are on the horizon and we have decided, on behalf of our association, to support their work, at least in part," František Nistor of the Averroma association, which offers construction work services, told the local news server mostecka-vlastovka.cz.
"When our reporter visited the scene intensive work was underway on revitalizing two entryways, a new wall was being built, work was being done on painting and repairing everything else that needed it. In one of the entryways a little further down the reconstruction was finishing up, and in the rest of them things were being straightened up and cleaned. We had the opportunity to see two completely finished entryways with our own eyes, and even though the locals finished their work some time ago, it's all still in a good state of repair. This is mainly food for thought because this is not just an isolated cry in the darkness, but a story about everyday, harsh reality and a gradual rise from the bottom up. For the sake of completeness it is appropriate for us to say that our visit there was not planned in advance in any way," says reporter Michal Němec on mostecka-vlastovka.cz.
At the Chanov housing estate there are currently eight blocks of prefabricated apartment buildings still left standing. Blocks nos. 2, 8, 11 and 13 were reconstructed nine years ago, again with contributions by local residents.
The total cost to fix those four buildings was CZK 43 million [EUR 1.7 million], most of which was covered by a subsidy from the European Union. Four other buildings on the estate were condemned and demolished by the town over the course of eight years.
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