Halted urban transformation project causes crisis for hundreds

Halted urban transformation project causes crisis for hundreds

Gülistan Alagöz - ISTANBUL
Halted urban transformation project causes crisis for hundreds

Around 1,000 families have been waiting since 2011 for their homes to be rebuilt in the Kadıköy district in the heart of Istanbul’s Asian side, turning a major urban transformation project into a crisis. Pana Yapı, the company responsible for the construction, has said it suffers serious financial hurdles.

The locals had moved into temporary homes with the expectation that their new homes would be rebuilt, but the company halted its construction works because of “financial problems.” They have not even been able to receive their rent allowance from the company.

Now, hundreds of people are calling on the Provincial Directorate for Environment and Urbanization to take the necessary step as they still do not have their homes.

“They took our homes from us and cut our rent allowance. We cannot make ends meet. They need to solve this problem,” said Mustafa Yılmaz, one of the locals.

The company halted some of its construction works, Engin Akgüzel said, who spoke on behalf of people suffering from the incomplete project.

“The company has told us they have financial problems, but they continue to make other investments,” he added.

Meanwhile, a Pana Yapı board member, Mahir Şaşmaz, pointed out to an overall financing problem that construction companies suffer from.

“The problem is not us in particular. Banks do not provide financing for the construction sector and it is not possible to complete these projects with only equity capital. We cannot sell any houses, thus we have to slow down our works,” Şaşmaz said.

Şaşmaz has said they have contacted officials and have been waiting for a common solution, adding that the state does not provide rent allowance for the locals in Fikirtepe, even though it is a major urban transformation area.