Point of View

Two room apartment for a family of ten (members)


Lida Hovhannisyan from Gyumri, aged 72, has already got tired of the paperwork, related to the acquirement of an apartment and prefers spending the last years of her life in her old domik that has served her already for 22 years and that is located in the Antaravan district.

Hovhannisyan has been living alone in her one-room apartment at the time of the earthquake.  She does not have any heirs or relatives.  Currently, she lives in a domik with poor housing conditions, on her pension of 28 thousand drams and state allowance of 13 thousand drams.  She does not want to resolve her apartment issue, since her health is not in a good shape: her blood pressure is always high.

"My home is the graveyard; why should I go and seek for an apartment?  Here, at least, there are some familiar people", says Ms. Lida.

Neighbors tell that Ms. Lida does not disturb anyone, she watches TV, feeds the dogs; she does not even attend the soup kitchen, since she is a very proud woman.  The state bodies are not concerned with Hovhannisyan's apartment issue, since for receiving an apartment you need to personally go and prepare all the documentation, but even those people who try to address this issue are often dissatisfied with the results.

Vazgen Hakobyan, aged 51, lost his four-room apartment at the earthquake; however he is told that per law he can only receive a three-room apartment, since the number of members in his family is 5, not 6.  

Hakobyan considers that any dispute is meaningless, since none of the documents that he has presented has been ever considered.  They prefer quietly waiting for September to receive their three-room apartment. 

Levon Barseghyan, the President of "Asparez" Club of Journalists of Gyumri, told www.hra.am that about 40 such districts exist in Gyumri.  The issue of providing housing to at least half of about 6,500 domik-based households still is not resolved.

In accordance with the 402 RA government decree of 1999, the apartments are allocated based on the number of persons, in case if the lost livable area has been larger.  If the number of souls has grown but in the past they have had a two-room apartment, then again the family receives a two-room apartment, if the number of souls has decreased, then the number of rooms also decrease. 

As a rule, one part of the big families move to the newly built apartment, while the second half continues living in the domiks, according to the concept, adopted by the RA Government. And the majority of the domiks is in poor living conditions. 

Albert Margaryan, the Head of the Urban Development Department of Shirak Marzpetaran informed www.hra.am that they consider the above-mentioned apartment distribution mechanism to be appropriate, since in fact everybody receives an apartment, even if ten members are registered for a two-room apartment.

As Margaryan informed, as a result of 1988 earthquake, more than 22 thousand apartments were destroyed, out of which 20 thousand were destroyed in Gyumri.  Afterwards, 18 thousand apartments were built in Gyumri and within this, about five thousand certificates were provided (voucher for acquisition of an apartment).

Two years ago, 1,056 apartments were built and distributed to people.  3,200 families are still on the waiting list, 1,756 of which will be provided with apartments in September of this year.

"About 1,000 families, still needing apartment will remain, but this number has the tendency to decrease, since there are also people who have left Armenia and have been checked out of the waiting list.  Besides, we have about 466 homeless families living in the rural areas.  In Akhuryan community, where we have most of the beneficiaries, i.e. about 182 families, the construction work has already started and the 64 beneficiary families are known," said Margaryan to www.hra.am.

He also noted that they cannot take responsibility for those families who at the time of the earthquake have been renting living or did not have any property.

Karine Ionesyan

Source: www.hra.am