CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board, on Sunday, offered allotments for alternate housing to the 28 families who lost their houses in the building collapse on Grama street in Tiruvottiyur.
Of the 28, 17 families accepted allotment orders where nine will receive housing in the urban habitat board tenements in AIR Colony and NTO Kuppam. These families will be resettled immediately, said officials.
The remaining families have decided to wait until the damaged blocks are demolished and reconstructed to move back in. They will receive a sustenance package of Rs 24,000 to find interim accommodation, according to senior Urban Habitat Board officials.
"As for people in the other five blocks, we will wait until the technical committee submits their report and recommendations. It is expected this week. Based on the report, we will take a decision," said a senior official.
Although 28 families have lost their houses, the remaining 300 families in the tenements have been looking for rental houses in the area. This has driven up the rent in and around Grama street where the tenements are located, said residents.
"At a time, 300 families are looking to move out and understandably, they all want to shift to some house that’s as close to their old houses as possible. So, in houses where the rent was earlier around Rs 3,000, owners are demanding Rs 5,000. Whenever I select a vacant house and speak to the owner, they tell me that 2-3 families from our tenements are already in talks with them," said S Sakthivel, a driver and a resident of the 'C' block.
Mukesh (name changed) who was paying a rent of Rs 2,500 at the Grama street tenements, is all set to pay Rs 6,000 as rent. Although original allottees are barred from renting out, it is not uncommon to find houses rented out due to financial needs or because the original allottees have shifted. "The advance is Rs 30,000. I have borrowed money to be able to afford a rented house outside the tenements," he said.