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Affected group with particular difficulties in purchasing or renting property of own choice

Key Area:
Housing & Segregation
Discrimination, Equality
16/02/2012 - 03:14
Short Answer

No quantitative or qualitative data is available on restrictions in access to housing. In general, however, it is accepted that access to housing is a problem for the Roma community, for migrants and for the Turkish Cypriots.

Qualitative Info

In the case of the Roma, poverty and unemployment forces them to accept whatever housing is made avaialble to them by the government, in designated Roma settlements often in remote rural locations. Anti-Roma sentiments have made it difficult for the government to secure housing for the Roma in houses or areas beyond the specially designated settlements.

Migrants also face the predicament of poverty but without any government help. Their low salaries compared with the prices of rentals force them to take on the cheapest possible accomodation which may not even be unsuitable for human habitation. As the average duration of a migrant worker's visa is four years, this does not meet the requirements set by the banks in order to advance housing loans, which are discretionary and may even be withheld where an applicant meets the requirements.

In the case of Turkish Cypriots, the stringent legislative conditions that regulate their access to their own properties (from which they fled in 1964-1974) have placed the whole issue of access in the hands of the Interior Minister, acting in his capacity as the Guardian of Turkish Cypriot properties. A similar provision exists as regards the purchase of other (i.e. non-Turkish Cypriot) property by Turkish Cypriots: this also depends upon the unfettered discretion of the Interior Minister, whose approval is needed for every  act of transfer of property involving Turkish Cypriots.

Groups Roma, migrants, Turkish Cypriots
Groups affected/interested Migrants, Roma & Travelers
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia, Inter-ethnic
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Housing
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