High Rents In Daraa Deprive Low-income People Of Housing
Many residents of Daraa, south Syria, took shelter in the nearby countryside, amid the significant increase in house rents almost exceeding double the general wage limit. In light of the absence of any state control, the price cap is qualitative and subject to the decision of apartment owners.
Demand for apartments in the city has increased, more than a year after the regime forces took control of the entire south of Syria and reached a settlement with local factions. Therefore, some self-employed professionals, such as doctors, engineers and lawyers, returned to the city of Daraa to live there because their job required them to settle there.
A number of displaced Syrians in Jordan returned to the city. Meanwhile, reopening Nasib Crossing bordering Jordan contributed to the entry of a limited number of Jordanian tourists, especially those having relatives in Daraa.
50,000 in rent: countryside is the solution
Muayad al-Omar, 30, a married man and head of a three-member family, explained to Enab Baladi his struggle with high prices. He said he wanted to live in the city center because of the availability of services and safety compared to other areas in the governorate, which witness frequent assassinations. However, the high rent of apartments, which amounted to 50,000 Syrian Pounds, prevented him from renting and forced him to live on the outskirts of the city.
After the settlement, Jawad Mufleh, 42, from Daraa, returned to his apartment in Tareeq al-Sadd neighborhood, which needed to be rebuilt due to shelling. Therefore, he had to look for a house to rent in the area, but his salary could not afford any apartment, so he had to return to former displacement in the villages of Daraa countryside.
Umm Abdullah, a resident of the city of Daraa, is no longer able to pay the rent so she had to move to the countryside too. She insisted that her husband’s salary is only 30,000 Pounds.
Umm Abdullah told Enab Baladi that during the past years humanitarian organizations have offered her and her family a house in the city, but when the regime forces entered they were taken out by the owner of the house, which was then rented.
The average salary in Syria is 94.26 dollars (equal to 56,000 Syrian Pounds at an exchange rate of 600 Pounds to the dollar), according to “numbeo” website, specialized in statistics.
Undeclared timing for provincial council moves
The problem has exacerbated over the past weeks and people’s calls for a decisive solution have increased, prompting Daraa Governorate to intervene for the first time by forming a committee to look into the issue of high rents.
A member of the Executive Office of Daraa Provincial Council, Wassima Khallaf, told SAMA TV Channel on September 7, that a committee will be formed by the governorate in coordination with the administrative units to set a mechanism regulating the prices and preventing any increase following a specific limit.
Khallaf promised that the committee will soon begin its work, and will set a specific price cap that shall not be exceeded when signing contracts between the lessee and the owner of the house.
Those interviewed by Enab Baladi considered that the governorate’s intervention was positive, but should be realized as soon as possible and that the price cap should commensurate with the overall income condition.