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Ócsa FX debtors relief housing scheme rebranded

January 18th, 2014

Népszabadság thinks the government should have known that the Ócsa project was doomed to failure from the very start and should not have taken the hasty decision of building a large compound in the middle of nowhere.

The government has decided to open the housing scheme on the outskirts of Ócsa (a small town south of Budapest) to those in need of emergency shelter, Népszabadság reports. The highly controversial project (see BudaPost August 16, 2011) was originally intended to provide affordable housing for families defaulting on loans denominated in foreign currencies, but even after extending the application deadline several times, only 42 of the 80 houses have been occupied by tenants. Now the government will use the houses to provide temporary shelter for families who have to leave their homes as a result of natural disasters.

Commenting on the rebranding of the Ócsa project in a front page editorial,Népszabdság claims that it was obvious from the very beginning that the initiative would be a failure. To place families in dire need on the outskirts of a municipality far from job opportunities was a misconceived idea, the leading left-wing daily contends. In addition, the project was also extremely costly: the total construction expense by the square meter was double the average price of (modest) flats in Budapest, Népszabadság notes. The daily concludes by hinting that the government prefers hastily designed and wasteful projects to reasonable solutions, but in the end, it needs to face realities.

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