Saturday, 21 April 2012

City's Show Crumbles to Pieces

On April 19 we went to see the President, Mayor, etc. at a public PR show where they gave keys to the first family which will move into new, "deluxe" public housing. The city, builds almost no public housing units, but when it does, it tries to make them look like luxury estates... and usually holds a competition for the families who can move in, not taking them on the order or the huge waiting list. The President and Mayor, etc. proudly took the journalists on a tour of the new building on Thursday. But on Friday night, a huge part of the facade just fell down. Local residents alerted the Tenants Defense Committee and we made the politicians and administration get over there on Saturday.  There was a look around the building and there will have to be an inspection.

 In the meanwhile, just to the naked eye, it is clear that the facade is ready to come off in a few places. Who knows what else was done in a shoddy way. Of course this is all related to trying to get jobs done at the lowest cost but with the greatest profit. Neighbours told of what they saw when the building was being constructed. We also have our doubts whether proper safety standards were used for the workers. In seems that again the city is spending our money in a crazy way. The building has many fancy elements on it, but it probably is just for external show. In the meanwhile, we visited the people in the very next building. Some of them have been waiting for other flats for years - we saw some flats with bad conditions and families with serious overcrowding, children without rooms, sleeping in corners in the kitchen. You can imagine waiting on a line for years for a better flat and seeing this building with elevators and heat and nice bathrooms going up right next door, knowing that you will not be able to live there and thousands of families like yours will not win the contest. Now they look at this building a different way - hoping that their children won't get hurt, because they play under the building. We saw how the parents had to beg the children not to go to close to the building... because part of it could fall down at any time.