Borei Keila residents reacted with outrage yesterday when City Hall announced only 34 of 154 displaced families will get on-site housing in the community, following a reassessment of the land dispute victims’ claims.
In scenes similar to those in March, when the municipality, in its first assessment, announced just 26 families could stay at Borei Keila, the majority of residents expressed dismay at being told to relocate to what they consider poor quality housing on the city’s outskirts.
Eighty-five claimants were told they could either move to Por Sen Chey district’s Andong village or take $5,000 in compensation. A further 34 were simply offered $3,000 in compensation.
Pouk Sophin, 45, burst into tears upon finding out she wouldn’t be given a house where she had lived since 1997.
“I’ve been waiting four years; the announcement is not justice and not acceptable,” she said.
Ath Samnang, 32, said the homes in Andong were unfit for living and demanded $14,000 in compensation. “I live at Borei Keila since I was a naked child until I married … now I am living in a tent camp near a rubbish site,” she said.
Residents were evicted en masse from the community in January 2012 when the government gave a 4.6-hectare site to developer Phan Imex.
Phan Imex had been required under its contract with City Hall to build 10 buildings on two-hectares of the land to accommodate the more than 1,700 displaced families but built only eight, housing almost 1,400 families, but prompting protests from those left without homes.
Residents seeking on-site housing at Borei Keila had to be able to prove they had lived there for a significant period before 2003.
City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said those who missed out did not have the necessary documents, but said villagers had 30 days to appeal.