Condemned Homes in Armenian Capital

Five years after their neighbourhood was placed under demolition order, residents see little sign of progress.

Condemned Homes in Armenian Capital

Five years after their neighbourhood was placed under demolition order, residents see little sign of progress.

Homes in Kond are patched up with wood, metal or plastic as residents do not want to invest in more lasting repairs, since demolition could come at any time. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Homes in Kond are patched up with wood, metal or plastic as residents do not want to invest in more lasting repairs, since demolition could come at any time. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
The plaster has flaked away over the years, and now the wind and rain get into the houses through gaps in the masonry. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
The plaster has flaked away over the years, and now the wind and rain get into the houses through gaps in the masonry. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
People say the local authorities do nothing to maintain infrastructure as the whole area has been written off. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
People say the local authorities do nothing to maintain infrastructure as the whole area has been written off. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Water is available only from outside standpoints, just as it was 60 years ago. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Water is available only from outside standpoints, just as it was 60 years ago. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Zhanna Mesropyan carries water for drinking, washing and cooking from a standpipe 200 metres from her house. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Zhanna Mesropyan carries water for drinking, washing and cooking from a standpipe 200 metres from her house. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Suren, 16, brings canisters of water home. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Suren, 16, brings canisters of water home. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Although centrally located in Yerevan, Kond is virtually cut off in winter because the roads are so bad. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Although centrally located in Yerevan, Kond is virtually cut off in winter because the roads are so bad. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Homes are slowly crumbling as their owners await the order to move out. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Homes are slowly crumbling as their owners await the order to move out. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Apartments that should have been ready for residents to move into in June are still a long way from complete. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)
Apartments that should have been ready for residents to move into in June are still a long way from complete. (Photo: Mary Aleksanyan)

The Kond neighbourhood in the Armenian capital Yerevan looks picturesque, but residents say they would move out of their tumbledown homes if only they could. They can neither sell up and leave, nor spend money on modernising their homes, as the whole area is due to be cleared as part of an urban redevelopment scheme.

Homeowners are entitled to compensation in the shape of cash or a new house once their houses are flattened, but that is not happening. Compensation packages have been agreed for only 200 of the 900 or so homes in the five years since the area was scheduled for redevelopment.

The rest of the homes remain under threat of demolition, but owners will be stuck there until a decision has taken to go ahead with the work. They complain that the buildings – some of them hundreds of years old – lack basic amenities and are cold and damp, conditions they believe are causing high rates of pneumonia, tuberculosis and other diseases.

For more on this story, see Armenia: Legal Limbo for "Deleted" Yerevan District.

Mary Aleksanyan reports for the Human Rights in Armenia website.

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