21:13, Wednesday, 03.06.2020
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Homeless Families Occupy One of the Most Demolished Buildings in Rustavi


Manon Bokuchava, Kvemo Kartli

A former three-story building of the Technical University is one of the most damaged buildings on the left embankment in Rustavi. One part of the building is completely destroyed. The rooms next to the demolished part do not have walls.

Despite such a horrible situation in the building, local homeless people and IDPs have decided to shelter there. They took up home in the building several days ago and are not going to leave it. Nobody is in a rush to remove them of the building either.

Rustavi self-government said when commenting on the fact with media that they had not allowed homeless families to lodge into the building so they cannot be responsible for the security of those people in the building.

Whilst there are construction materials scattered in the building, there is no water, ventilation and electricity supply and there are no toilets in it. Some families are still living in tents set up in the yard of the building. They said they will try to make the building habitable it if it is officially assigned to them.

Humanrights.ge inquired why they decided to shelter in this building now. Our respondents started to answer our questions by defending the Rustavi City Hall though we did not mention the local authority at all.

“We entered this building ourselves. City Hall did not give us permission. They said the building was damaged. We are fed up with being homeless and decided to come here. We are 52 homeless families; some of us are IDPs and some are local families,” said Tamuna Iordanishvili, mother of three children. According to her, they had been living in Gagarin Str. # 8 in Rustavi for several years; their house was a shell rather than a completed building. However, despite the unbearable conditions, she was not granted the status of a socially disadvantaged family.

There are several IDP families among them. First of all, they criticize the Ministry of Refugees and claim that the money allocated for IDPS was not spent on them. IDP families state they have been either renting flats or living at relatives for several years already.

“My children are 6 and 8 years old. Initially we rented a flat in Tbilisi. Then I could not afford to pay expensive rent and moved to Rustavi. But now I cannot afford to pay rent even in Rustavi. So, when I learned that families were going to shelter here, we also joined them. I know that the building is damaged but I have no way out. Maybe the government will pay attention to us now. They have been promising to pay attention to us but nobody has ever cared about problems,” Irina Zarandia, an IDP from Abkhazia, said.

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