March & April 2021
During the months of March and April 2021, 27 reports of eviction threats were received by the #Housing_Monitor, including one eviction notice.
The reports were mostly located in Beirut and its suburbs, out of which 25% were in the areas affected by the Port explosion, despite the passing of the law which is supposed to protect residents from eviction. We also received one report from each of Baalbek, Sidon and Al-Mina (Tripoli).
In the absence of controls on the rental market and the state's failure to protect residents from the abusive practices of some landlords, 81% of the reported cases suffers from the burden of rent expenses.
The practice of house-sharing had become common in #Beirut, with the aim of sharing costs which exceed the majority’s wage value. Although most of these housing arrangements do not meet adequate and safe housing conditions, for many, they represent the only available means of housing in the city. But when housemates leave, it becomes easier for landlords to evict the rest of the renters. The only case of eviction in this report is an example of this trend.
As for the reports from the affected areas as a result of the Port explosion, they indicate a close relationship between the slow pace of restoration, issuance of permits, and housing safety.
In one of the cases documented in this report, residents complained that they were totally absent from the restoration process. They received a notice to vacate their apartments for a month, pending the restoration. But the Directorate of Antiquities had not issued the permit yet, despite their evacuation. Poor coordination, lack of information sharing with residents, and the lack of democratization in decision-making create suspicion and distrust amongst residents.
Furthermore, the complicated procedures to obtain restoration that exclude the tenant from the process, as well as delay in issuing them, is a major reason for the continued displacement and threat to the residents of the affected neighborhoods today.
We also publish a guide for residents of affected areas, to support them defending their housing rights based on the Affected Areas Protection Law 194/2020.