Rising house rents pose challenges for IDP aid workers in Taungoo

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Photo – CJ

People helping Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Taungoo, Bago Region, reported that they are having difficulty renting houses for IDPs in the town as rents have soared and they are unable to negotiate with landlords.

In Taungoo, most religious buildings are now overcrowded with IDPs and more are arriving. Therefore, the IDP aid workers have to arrange shelters for them. Currently, they are having difficulty renting houses in the town as rental prices have risen sharply recently and owners require rent to be paid for (six) months or a year in advance, they said.

A local woman helping the IDPs said, “Normally the rent for a detached house is 200,000 kyat. But they only rent it out for 800,000 – 1,000,000 kyat now. And they are now asking for a six-month contract.”

In addition to the fighting in Thandaunggyi in Karen State, recent battles to capture Za Yat Gyi town in Htantabin Township has forced residents to seek shelter in religious buildings in nearby Taungoo.

Another woman helping the displaced said the IDP aid workers are facing financial constraints as they also have to pay brokerage fees for renting houses in downtown Taungoo wards for the IDPs.

“They (the landlords) demand a one-year contract with a monthly rent of 250,000 kyat. We can’t afford that. Brokers charge 100,000 kyat even if we have to make an advance payment. We have to pay these amounts every month from the donations. Five people in their late 70s live in the house we have rented. One of them is diabetic and has to spend most of (his) time in bed,” explains the woman.

Residents and IDP aid workers say that most homeowners no longer dare to rent, as military council soldiers can storm the houses where the IDPs are staying at any time.

The ongoing fighting between combined resistance forces and the Myanmar Army in Za Yat Gyi town, Htantabin Township, has led to the military council firing weapons into the town. Consequently, residents fled until the morning of 10 February, with more Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) arriving in Taungoo, according to IDP aid workers.

Sent by KIC.

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