State-Built Apartments For The Poor Among The Worst-Hit In Iran Quake

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The residential apartments were built as a part of Ahmadinejad’s domestic policy to enable homeownership for poor Iranians.

In what has been declared this year's deadliest earthquake, more than 450 people were killed when a powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the border between Iraq and Iran.

In Iran's Kermanshah province alone, officials put the death toll at around 100 people, according to the country's semi-official Mehr news agency.

Some of the worst structural damage also reportedly occurred in Kermanshah. One of the worst-hit towns was Sarpol-e Zahab, where most of the buildings that had collapsed had been built under the Mehr Housing Project, a state-run real-estate scheme championed by former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The residential apartments were built as a part of Ahmadinejad’s domestic policy to enable homeownership for poor Iranians. However, the housing scheme turned out to be rather controversial as, Marketa Hulpachova, editor at Tehran Bureau noted, it "caused prices to soar, enabled corruption and profiteering, and made affordable housing out of reach not only for the poor, but also for the relatively well-off."

 

"The Mehr social housing buildings are ruined," Amir, a resident of Sarpol-e Zahab, told the BBC. "In the city, 30 percent of the buildings are ruined."

"Iranians are angry that among the collapsed buildings in the Sunday’s earthquake were houses that the government has built under its affordable housing program," Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters Iran correspondent tweeted.

 

Eshaq Jahangiri, the first vice president of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, announced an investigation into the devastated Mehr Housing structures.

Carbonated.TV
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