New home tragedy




65-YEAR-OLD Bahraini collapsed and died yesterday after being called in to receive a government home that he had been waiting for since 1994.

Ibrahim Ali Ibrahim Hassan, from Guraifa, was among 225 beneficiaries invited to select a new home at the Housing Ministry, in the Diplomatic Area.

He was part of the first batch of recipients who arrived at 9am, but was told he needed a new letter from the Pension Fund Authority (PFA) and as he was leaving he collapsed and died, Housing Ministry sources told the GDN.

The ministry announced yesterday that his family would automatically receive the new property for free, with all monthly payments being waived.

“As the deceased, may his soul rest in peace, was walking out to get the missing documents asked of him we heard screams that someone had fallen near the VIP staircase,” said sources.

“His brother-in-law, who was accompanying him, told us that the deceased had been vomiting since the morning and not feeling well.

“The home will now go to his widow and son, who we are told is suffering from severe sickle cell anaemia and is in hospital most of the time, while his daughters are all married.”

Mr Hassan, a former Transportation Ministry employee, was called in to take part in a draw for new social housing in Nabih Saleh after spending almost two decades on a waiting list.

He first applied for a home in December 1994.

A second batch of recipients were scheduled to receive their homes at noon, but their draw was delayed until later in the day as a result of Mr Hassan’s death.

Two more batches of housing recipients were scheduled to collect their homes today.

The Housing Ministry yesterday offered condolences on its website following Mr Hassan’s death.

“The 65-year-old Bahraini came to the ministry accompanied by a relative, as his name was listed as an eligible receiver, but lost consciousness before completing all formalities,” it said in a statement.

“The ministry immediately called the emergency services and they rushed a doctor to the scene, but he was pronounced dead.

“We have decided to give the deceased’s family the house with all formalities being declared complete and have also decided that the family will be relieved of all monthly instalments and the house will be immediately delivered.”

However, Manama Municipal Council services and public utilities committee chairman Hussain Qarqoor, who represents constituents in Guraifa and Nabih Saleh, criticised the organisation of the housing draw. He claimed recipients from Juffair, Guraifa and Nabih Saleh were only informed on Tuesday night that they would be receiving homes.

“Those called ranged from applicants from 1993 to 2005, but the criteria is still a mystery despite us asking for explanations,” he said.

“It is good that Mr Hassan was among those called, but others waiting from 1993 and 1994 in the three villages are also elderly and are still waiting for homes.

“The deceased’s new home will now be his grave and there are others on the verge of dying who are still on waiting lists.”

He said the new government homes in Nabih Saleh were built despite a development ban on the island to alleviate the plight of those waiting for social housing.

“I hope there are solutions for those still waiting, possibly an expansion to the housing project in Nabih Saleh,” he said


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