Total of 16,528 people, displaced as a result of the August war, have been provided with new houses as of December 24, senior officials said.
“We can say that construction of houses for the displaced persons and their resettlement has been completed by 95%. At the moment 3,963 houses have been built; an average cost of each newly built house is GEL 27,933,” Vano Merabishvili, the Georgian interior minister, told journalists on December 24.
President Saakashvili tasked Merabishvili in September to coordinate housing program for the internally displaced persons.
He said 9,342 houses were rehabilitated in the so called former buffer zone – an area in the south of breakaway South Ossetia. “An average of GEL 2,000 was spent on rehabilitation of each house there,” Merabishvili said.
He said that the Georgian authorities had decided to spend the budgetary funds on the housing project, but these expenses, Merabishvili added, would be reimbursed with pending financial assistance coming from international donors.
“We have decided not to wait for the international funds to come and started to allocate the budgetary funds; but these expenses will be reimbursed by the funds received from international [donors] and eventually, perhaps if not the large part, at least certain part of the expenses will be covered by the foreign aid,” Merabishvili said.
According to the official papers published by the Interior Ministry, total of GEL 242.7 million was spent on the housing project, which also included construction of infrastructure in the newly built villages, involving electricity, gas networks and roads.
Koba Subeliani, the state minister for refugees and accommodation, said that those families, which refused to move into newly built houses – mainly in the Shida Kartli region – were granted with USD 10,000.
He also said that each IDP family, which moved into newly built houses were granted with one-time allowance of GEL 200.