HIV Families Still Waiting for Apartments Promised by Gov’t

More than three months have passed since the eviction of the HIV/AIDS community at Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila community, but the apartments promised to 11 families have not yet materialized and interim rent money from the municipality has dried up, residents said yesterday.

Sieng Vy, a 31-year-old HIV/AIDS patient, said by telephone that she was among a group of nine people who visited the Prampi Makara district offices yesterday to request further money to pay for temporary housing while their apartments are being built.

“We hope that the district governor will continue to pay to support our rental housing fees,” Ms Vy said. “He promised us that if construction did not finish on time, we should come to him to have a discussion and reconsider.”

She added that Prampi Makara District Governor Sorm Sovann was too busy to meet with the villagers, and asked them to return to his office this morning.

The 11 families were among 31 evicted on June 18 from sheds they were living in at Borei Keila to make way for construction of the new Ministry of Tourism facility. Though 20 families were sent to a relocation site on the city outskirts, the rest were promised space in an on-site social housing development still under construction.

At the time Mr Sovann said that the municipality would provide $20 in rent every month for each family to cover housing for a period of three months while their promised apartments were being built by development company Phanimex.

Yesterday, Ms Vy said that the funds have covered less than half of her $45-per-month rental fees, and that her financial situation is growing dire.

“The rental fees have increased, which made me spend more money—not to mention the electricity and water bills. I’m hoping the district governor can help me,” she said.

Mr Sovann hung up on a re­porter when contacted by telephone yesterday. An assistant to Deputy Municipal Governor Mann Chhoeun said by telephone yesterday that the deputy governor was unable to comment because he was out of the country.



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