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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 6 - 12  > JCP in Hiroshima succeeds in enabling heavy rain victims to live in temporary housing for another year
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2019 March 6 - 12 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP in Hiroshima succeeds in enabling heavy rain victims to live in temporary housing for another year

March 6, 2019

Pushed by the Japanese Communist Party, the Hiroshima prefectural government has decided to allow victims of the 2018 July heavy rains in western Japan to live in temporary housing units for up to two years by extending the initially-set time limit of one year.

The Disaster Relief Law stipulates that local governments should provide disaster victims with temporary housing units for two years. Despite this stipulation, the government of Hiroshima’s Kure City in January sent to heavy rain victims living in temporary shelters in the city a written notification of the deadline for leaving their temporary housing units. The document states that temporary housing residents who formerly lived in rental housing at the time of the natural disaster should move out within six months in principle, or up to twelve months maximum. The residents moved into the units in September last year.

Some of the evacuees consulted with the JCP concerning the issue. In response to an inquiry by JCP Kure City assembly members, a city official said that the notification was sent in accordance with instructions from the prefectural government. Regarding the reason why the upper limit was set at one year for those who evacuated their rental apartments due to the heavy rains, the prefectural government explained to the JCP that these evacuees just need to find a new place to live and do not need to have their houses reconstructed or repaired.

With the hearing with Cabinet Office officials, the JCP confirmed that the Disaster Relief Law does not discriminate between house owners and apartment dwellers in terms of the right to stay in temporary housing units.

JCP member of the prefectural assembly Tsuji Tsuneo in an assembly meeting last month demanded that the prefecture take into consideration what disaster victims really need. In response, a prefectural government official said that the prefectural government will allow victims to live in temporary housing units for up to two years by taking into account each victim’s situation.

Calling the prefecture’s decision “a step forward”, Tsuji said that he will keep working to make sure that disaster victims will be able to keep living in the temporary housing units as long as needed.

Past related articles:
> JCP influences Health Ministry to exempt heavy rain victims from medical fees [July 13, 2018]
> JCP active in relief efforts in heavy rain-hit western Japan [July 11, 2018]
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