Thousands of unfinished homes are to be targeted for completion under a new government initiative that got under way this month. Abandoned construction sites are to be surveyed for renovation loans following the establishment of a special seven-member committee. which held its first meeting on March 15.
Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors’ Union head and committee member Cafer Gürcafer said: “Personally I would like to start with the Gary Robb development, which is a dreadful situation. Applications by contractors will be considered by us and we will contact the property owners of the projects which are given the go-ahead.”
Prime Minister Ömer Kalyoncu said that the move was vital to reunite houseowners with their properties, help struggling businessmen and allow banks to recover funds.
Former Economy and Tourism Ministry undersecretary Mehmet Basel heads the committee of representatives from the State Planning Office, ministries of Economy, Industry and Commerce and Interior and Labour, Central Bank, Banks Union, Real Estate Sector Advisory Board and the contractors’ union.
Mr Basel said yesterday: “I have just met with the Finance Minister to discuss the setting up of a fund which could be administered by the state-run Development Bank to whom applications would be made but it is too early to say for definite.”
He added that more details would be thrashed out at a third meeting of the committee on Tuesday. Mr Gürcafer said: “Our latest study reveals more than 4,000 abandoned sites. We need funding for renovation and political reform because politics and bureaucracy have also damaged the sector.
“Homeowners now living abroad are lobbying for their rights, a situation which must be sorted out both for them, our reputation and the economy. He added: “The number of active building contractors has dropped from 450 to around 300 and we are still recovering from the crash of 2007, but between us we have the equipment and ability to fix this problem. All that is needed is organisation and a win-win mentality.”
By Anne Canalp for Cyprus Today