CAIRO: A homeless family of five has been forced to live in a tent after failing to receive emergency housing assistance.
Ahmed Ibrahim, his wife and their three sons are currently living in a makeshift tent erected in an alley in the neighborhood of El-Waily, 10 minutes from downtown Cairo.
Ibrahim, who worked in a carpentry workshop and lost his left hand in an accident
30 years ago supports his family on a LE 100 monthly pension.
He told Daily News Egypt that they were evicted from their home after rent increases.
“We left El-Waily after my mother died, and moved to El-Marg [a district in Cairo] where we rented an apartment for 15 years, Ibrahim said.
“But the landlord increased the rent and so we returned to the apartment in El-Waily. The house collapsed, and we were made homeless.
With nowhere else to go, the family initially went to live in a public garden in front of the Demerdash Hospital in Cairo.
They stayed there for two days but on March 31 they were removed by a 10-man police force who told them that they would be taken to government housing.
However, the promised housing did not materialize, and their personal belongings were taken from them.
Ibrahim, who applied for emergency housing assistance in 2005 but has heard nothing since, was initially informed that the family’s belongings would not be returned until he could provide proof of a permanent address.
Their belongings have since been returned, and the family is storing them with friends and neighbors until they resolve their housing crisis.
“We decided to come back to El-Waily; we had nowhere else to go. Our former neighbors have helped us as much as they could, and we were provided with an emergency relief tent.
The tent, in an alley in front of their former home, is a makeshift wooden frame covered in canvas. The area surrounding the tent is filled with food debris, garbage and animal excrement.
The family’s circumstances have forced Ibrahim to remove his oldest son from school. He now works in a mechanic’s garage.
His two younger sons, both under 14, have been unable to go to school since the family became homeless.
The Cairo-based Egyptian Center for Housing Rights has taken on the family’s case.
“We have sent complaints to the officials concerned requesting that the family be provided with suitable housing, Mohamed El-Helw told Daily News Egypt. “If this does not happen then we will begin legal action.