Families ask for cheaper homes

Families in Dubai appealed for more time and more affordable homes as they are forced out of shared villas.

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DUBAI // Families in Dubai yesterday appealed for more time and more affordable homes as they are forced out of villas where they share accommodation with other families. Dubai Municipality has announced a one-month deadline, ending on Oct 21, for families sharing villas to move out and find alternate housing. Notices have been sent out to villas in Jumeirah, Umm Suquiem, Rashidiya, Hor Al Anz and other areas ordering landlords to allow only one family to live in a villa at a time.

A statement from Dubai Municipality said the deadline was the final phase of the programme to "prohibit labour and bachelor accommodation as well as multi-family housing in the residential districts". "There are no cheap places to live in Dubai. We were shocked to receive a notice last week. We never knew we were violating the law. I think there needs to be more clarity on what is illegal because many villas have not got notices in this area," said a resident of Umm Suquiem area, who shares the villa with another family.

The decision to house one family per villa was taken by Dubai Municipality in July and announcements have been running recently on radio and television. Officials said landlords who failed to comply would face fines of up to Dh50,000 (US$13,500) and other civic action. Hundreds of families sharing villas in Al Rashidiya area were evicted and forced to move to Sharjah and Ajman after authorities cut off utilities in July.