Minister: People staying in container settlements to be relocated by mid-September

(Hina) - Construction Minister Branko Bačić said on Wednesday that people whose properties were damaged in the 2020 earthquakes would be relocated from container settlements by mid-September and and provided with adequate housing.

Bačić, who said this during a parliamentary debate on amendments to the Law on Housing Accommodation in Government-Assisted Areas, noted that of 11 container settlements four had already been closed down.

Their tenants would move into buildings that are currently being renovated or built with the help of money from EU funds and the state budget and are owned by the state, he said, noting that that was the only reason why the amendments were submitted to be discussed by the parliament under fast-track procedure, given that as of 15 July the parliament is in recess.

One of the reasons why the bill was forwarded to be discussed under fast-track procedure is that it would expand the scope of beneficiaries who would have the right to a donated housing unit, to war veterans, beneficiaries who were given the right to use a damaged property and construction material for its repair, if at the time when they acquired that right the property could not be occupied, as well as members of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO).

The amendments also provide for the extension of deadlines for the installation of donated construction material and extend the right to accommodation for victims of domestic violence from two to four years.

The Opposition was against the bill being discussed under fast-track procedure and the fact that it was not discussed by the competent parliament committee, with Bridge MP Marija Selak Raspudić saying that the story of post-earthquake reconstruction was a story of more or less unsuccessful reconstruction, noting that in some villages in the earthquake-affected areas people still live in housing containers that do not have a toilet.