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."
Some of worst structural damage in #Iran quake is reportedly seen in buildings built as part of Mehr Housing Project. Authorities should asses damage in such structures, hold contractors to account & force immediate alterations elsewhere. Corruption kills.— Mohammad Ali Shabani (@mashabani) November 13, 2017
"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.
Iranians are angry that among the collapsed buildings in the Sunday’s earthquake were houses that the government has built under its affordable housing programme. The Mehr (=love) housing scheme was initiated by former populist President Ahmadinejad. pic.twitter.com/cjCVux2Qpi— Bozorgmehr Sharafedin (@bozorgmehr) November 14, 2017
Eshaq Jahangiri, the first vice president of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, announced an investigation into the devastated Mehr Housing structures.
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