Abu Fahd of Fujairah moved into a new house in the emirate nearly 30 years ago. At that time, the house was neat and spacious enough to accommodate his tiny family and his finances were sufficient for such a small family.
The situation has now turned upside down. Abu Fahd’s family has mushroomed to 47 persons, his finances are dwarfed by the growing domestic needs and rising prices, and his house has become tiny and is about to collapse.
The situation has been aggravated by the accumulating debt on the old man as he had to borrow from the bank many times to maintain his home and prevent it from collapsing on the heads of his children. He now owes nearly Dh337,000 although his monthly wages is only around d Dh10,000.
Quoted by Emirat Alyoum Arabic language daily, Abu Fahd said he now lives with his children and grandchildren in the same house he had got 30 years ago in Oqair area in the emirate as his sons are still awaiting response from the government for their applications to get houses.
“I have maintained my house five times to ensure it will remain safe for living...I had to get loans which have accumulated to Dhj337,000...my monthly wage is around Dh10,000 but the bank chops off Dh4,000,” the pensioner said.
“I have added some rooms to the house so it will accommodate the new family members as some of my sons have got children….I had no choice but use the cheaper asbestos substance in the new construction work despite its health hazards…despite maintenance, the house is now in a very bad condition as some of its walls have cracked and pieces of the ceiling have fallen down…the other day, one piece nearly fall on my little son’s head but it missed.”
The paper quoted Hassan Al Bashar from the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme as saying they would consider Abu Fahd’s request for a new house while the applications of four of his sons had already been approved.