From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Quake Victims Struggle with Hike in Rental Prices

Rental prices in one of the areas worst hit by the 26 November earthquake have risen by 30%.

In Laç in northern Albania, a large portion of the city has been declared uninhabitable and residents are struggling to afford rent, according to a report by

Resident Nikol Kolaj told reporters that he was moved to a hotel in Shëngjin after his apartment was declared uninhabitable. He then applied for a rental bonus at the town hall but was told to go looking for housing on his own. He told Reporter that for two weeks he has been searching for rental accommodation but has been successful so far.

In Kurbin, some 80 apartments and 265 houses have been declared uninhabitable, rendering several hundred people homeless. Despite the fact that they have nowhere to go, families have been told they must leave hotel accommodation.  

Mayor of Kurbin, Majlinda Cara told BIRN that no citizens would be forced to leave hotels until they had a flat in place. She said that around 20% had found housing and that the government had given up to 3000 ALL (25 EUR) per person per month towards rent.

Price hikes have been observed in other areas including Durres where landlords seeking to cash in on the crisis and increased demand, upped prices beyond the reach of those that are homeless.

There are still cases where homes have not yet been appraised and citizens are too afraid to return. In addition to this, over 10,000 people are still living in tents, many of which are summer tents and not suitable for the current sub-zero temperatures at night.