Sixteen displaced Artsakh families now living in temporary housing in Yerevan face being homeless yet again.
Hetq The families, from the town of Berdzor and neighboring villages in Artsakh’s Kashatagh District, have been living in Yerevan’s No.1 Pedagogical-Psychological Support Center for the past year.
The families told Hetq that Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs employees recently visited the center, telling them they must leave by October 20.
They have nowhere to go. Most are unemployed and can’t afford to rent an apartment.
Earlier, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs announced that the program to temporarily house displaced people from Artsakh had ended.
The Armenian government said a new program will allocate 50,000 drams ($105) monthly month for four 4 months, from September to December, to the displaced.
Kristineh Gorgyan, director of the Yerevan N1 Pedagogical-Psychological Support Center says the eviction order came from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Gorgyan says the government has not compensated the support center for housing the families.
The Mission Armenia charitable NGO recently renovated the bathroom and shower used by the families.
Mission Armenia VP Alla Harutyunyan told Hetq that the renovation was to improve living conditions of the residents.
“We knew they could not stay there forever, but we did not know when they would leave,” Harutyunyan said, adding that the NGO is ready to pay the families’ rent for the next four months.
Mary Grigoryan moved from the town of Berdzor to the village of Tzaghkaberd a year before the 2020 war, with her husband. When the war started, they fled to Yerevan, finding refuge at the support center.
Her husband and brothers fought in the war. Grigoryan gave birth to a son last October. Her husband gets part time construction work, but his salary can’t pay the family’s rent, utility bills and living expenses.
A few days ago, he saw a video on the internet showing Azerbaijanis ransacking their home in Artsakh.
“My heart aches. I don’t even know why I kept it on my phone. It hurts a lot. We haven’t lived in that house for a year. Everything was new, everything was bought and made by us,” says Mrs. Grigoryan