Slovak municipality to resettle Romany "ghetto" residents
The city of Kosice wants to resettle families at the local Romany-inhabited housing estate Lunik IX in an effort to separate less adaptable residents and rent-defaulters from those who pay rents, Emilia Bujnakova from the City Hall has told CTK.
Those paying rents will gain better housing conditions. The city expects the resettle plan to make more families pay housing rents, Bujnakova said.
The debt of Lunik IX rent-defaulters reaches 600,000 crowns a month.
"We'll divide local flats into three categories, distribute them among the local residents according to their social level, and adapt the level of our services accordingly," Bujnakova said.
For example, the rent payers could receive more frequent supplies of water, which are now available for a mere four hours a day at the housing estate inhabited by 5,500 Romanies.
"If the flats are divided into different categories along with a different level of services, it would motivate the residents," says Jozef Cerven, a local priest.
He says that more Romany families started paying for rents after the resettlement plan was announced.
The resettlement of families will be impossible without the assistance of the police, Cerven admits.
Ladislav Sano, mayor of the neighbourhood where Lunik IX is situated, said he knows nothing about the resettlement plan.
"If they started to move families, we'll probably defend ourselves in court," he said.
Lunik IX, which shelters the largest Romany community in Central Europe, has the character of a ghetto. Illegal drawing of energy is quite common among the locals. Several years ago the area was cut off from warm water supplies and thereby also from heating.
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