It will be necessary to carry out a static adequacy study before any Turkish Cypriot property is granted to beneficiaries by the Guardian, based on a law passed by the Parliament.
The Plenary unanimously voted in favor of a proposal for a law by the Refugee Committee, so that, before Turkish Cypriot real estate is granted to any beneficiary for the purposes of housing or professional use, the Custodian of Turkish Cypriot Properties for security purposes will ensure that a relevant study is carried out regarding the static adequacy of the specific property.
The proposed arrangement was deemed necessary, after the Commission found that the Custodian of Turkish Cypriot Properties is granting t/c properties, which need significant repairs and/or upgrades, to beneficiaries.
In their statement, the MPs of DIKO Pavlos Mylonas and Zacharias Koulias questioned whether the t/c properties that have already been given by the Guardian should not be checked as well. Mr. Koulias also said that many apartment buildings in refugee settlements and residential properties granted to refugees have static problems.
ELAM MP Sotiris Ioannou said that the newest t/k house has been built for 50 years and has suffered wear and tear and it is a shame to give such properties to refugees with the risk of collapse and security issues. He added that the problem of T/C properties should be seen more globally and the Republic of Cyprus should proceed with their further utilization as time progresses. He added that from the day a house is published, a reasonable period of time is given to make applications and approvals, and within this entire period the study can be done.
DISY MP Giorgos Georgiou stated that the specific law proposal was the result of a parliamentary audit requested by DISY, while visits were made to abandoned houses in Avdimou. He said there were cases where a property was in an advanced stage of renovation but there was no structural adequacy study. The state, he said, has a legal and moral obligation to deliver safe and maintained housing and not for refugees to live in fear of danger and begging for piecemeal maintenance work. This, he added, is even more important in the case of commercial real estate. He also said that it is unacceptable for the state to ask for market rent and at the same time lease dangerous properties to citizens. and stated that provision should be made for the Guardian to proceed with a static study in parallel with the concession to the beneficiaries in order to save time.
The deputy of DIKO Panikos Leonidou said that if the will of the body that will give the house and the beneficiary do not coincide, there may be long delays at the expense of the refugees' rights.
The President of the Refugee Committee, MP of AKEL Nikos Kettiros said that no legislation can apply retroactively to the properties that have already been given and they did not want to bring unconstitutional legislation to the Plenary.
On the issue of delays, he mentioned that ETEK assured them that they need 15 days for the static adequacy check and said that a 15 day delay is not a time "that we cannot bear". He added that moreover, the property management service has 1.5 years to make publications for the allocation of houses, while there are needs. He called on the competent agency to show greater sensitivity and the government to submit soon the criteria for the allocation of t/c properties.
Nicosia Member of Parliament Kostis Efstathiou noted that the Custodian is a fiduciary and must protect the property and must make improvements and maintenance. He added that they are discussing the obvious in the Parliament and there would be no need to do this if the Law on Guardianship of Property was applied. He added that there is huge profitability from some who own t/c properties and sublet them much more expensively than’ what they pay for them. He also said that just as in the housing estates that securitization was used as an alibi for the executive to let them collapse, the same is happening with real estate.
DISY MP Rita Superman said the group of the DISY acted before the earthquakes even happened in Turkey and Syria and with this law proposal it declares its concern for the refugee world. He added that they expect to discuss the bills that will comprehensively settle the issue of t/c properties. Certainly, he added, problems may arise, but what can be done is the pressing parliamentary control.