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Posted by portugalpress on June 07, 2018

There is shock and disbelief in Albufeira this week where residents of the embattled Roja Pé apartment block received 23-page letters informing them that their apartments are indeed illegal and will have to be demolished.

This is a long-running story which almost three years ago looked like having a happy ending (click here).

Recently deceased mayor Carlos Sousa e Silva told the Resident that his council was confident it had found a way round the issue, and would be able to give all the home owners concerned peace of mind “very soon”.

But this week any notion of peace of mind has been thrown brutally out the window.

The gist of the letters from Loulé’s administrative court is that 28 homes (an entire block plus the upper floor of a second block) must be demolished within the next 120 days.

Residents are informed that they have 20 days to submit an appeal.

In 2015, Carlos Sousa e Silva said costs to demolish the homes would easily bankrupt the council which was at the time clawing its way out of debt.

The borough's financial situation may have improved since then, but demolition costs - previously pegged at "around €500,000" - will certainly not have decreased - indeed, they could be even more now.

And the fate of the families is the big unknown. Where will they go? What kind of compensation will they be offered? Could it possibly buy them homes in the borough at today’s prices bearing in mind prices have soared since they bought their apartments?

All these questions are now swirling in the maelstrom as the residents gather their forces to face yet again a nightmare situation for which they hold absolutely no blame.

The blocks affected were all 'signed off' by the council in the time of former mayor Desidério Silva, and purchases all went through the right channels, in many cases requiring bank loans.

For background to this story (click here)

Meantime, Albufeira's new mayor José Carlos Rolo is quoted as telling Público that the council will help homeowners with legal support if they need it.

A meeting to discuss the borough's next step is due to take place on Monday (June 11).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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