30 Years After the Earthquake

30 Years After the Earthquake

After the earthquake in 1988 in the disaster zone some disorderly housing was formed. Over these 30 years, thousands of families left without shelter have received housing thanks to public and private investments. And yet the number of wagons for temporary shelter did not become less. Tatiana Arzumanyan, the Head of the Department of Housing and Utility Infrastructure of the Urban Planning Committee of Armenia, clarified the issue, "In 2008 the final deadline was set for the registration of families left without shelter because of the earthquake. During this period, 7,000 families were enrolled, of which 5,381 are currently recognized as beneficiaries of the housing program with state support. The issues of 4839 families are already solved, and until 2020 the housing problem of the remaining 542 families will be solved, too''. Nevertheless, even after providing housing for so many families, there are still people living in temporary wagons. The number of such wagons is approximately 2000 in Gyumri. '' Some families living in temporary wagons received housing in due time, but for social reasons, sold them and moved again to their old wagons. Another case is large families, when only part of the family moves to the new house, the others continue to live in the so-called ''domiks'' (houses). A lot of such temporary houses were bought or rented by internal migrants, residents who arrived in Gyumri from neighboring cities and villages. In some cases these temporary houses are stone buildings, and families living in such “domiks” are able to use the social guarantees provided by the state. There are also families, who received a living space under the state support program, but did not manage to register their rights within the prescribed period, mostly due to the non-fulfillment of the main condition, the dismantling of temporary housing. Some domiks are used for shoemakers, hairdressers or catering facilities, but not for living'', told Tatiana Arzumanyan about the Odyssey of temporary houses.

In order to identify and solve the problems of homeless families, this year, the government made a decision to start documenting the temporary houses. As a result in 2019 proposals will be submitted to Urban planning committee to improve the conditions of families living in these houses. The area of the houses will be cleaned of unnecessary buildings, which will enable them to be included in various investment projects (including construction).

'' Solving disaster-zone problem is not only the housing program as planned. As experience shows, the solution of the housing problem does not make citizens socially independent. The family can sold the house or apartment because of the money shortage and again face the old housing problem. Here we need to use a complex approach, implementation of investment initiatives within the framework of human settlement development programs, opening new jobs, urging the economic growth in the regions, creation of opportunities for development'', said Tatiana Arzumanyan.