Cairo Governor Osama Kamal said Wednesday that residents of a poor neighborhood in Maspero will not be forcibly removed from their homes to make way for luxury developments.
Instead, authorities are researching ways of improving the living conditions of the Ramlet Bulaq community.
“We are studying the development of the area and the funding of 64 large apartment buildings for the resettlement of the residents,” he said. “And we are starting in three months.”
The governor also said he had ordered his council to find housing for 40 families now homeless after several buildings in Ramlet Bulaq were demolished due to safety concerns.
Kamal said the government owns some of the land around the community and is working to develop new homes for residents with the help of private firms and individuals.
“We are talking to them to form a joint company to build new housing units in the area,” he said.
Ramlet Bulaq residents had blocked the Nil Corniche road just north of downtown Cairo Tuesday evening, protesting the demolition and demanding a meeting with Kamal.
The government is hoping to purchase land in Ramlet Bulaq to build luxury office buildings. However, residents have refused to leave unless they receive alternative housing.
Maspero is home to several iconic buildings including the Foreign Ministry, the Radio and Television Union building and the Italian Consulate.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm