Several homes located in Pepinster, a town in the province of Liège hard hit by the floods of July 2021, will soon be destroyed.
The municipality has proposed buying back the concerned houses from the owners. “We propose buying these buildings at their market value, after deducting the amount already compensated by insurance," explained mayor Philippe Godin to Belga News Agency.
Two residents of Rue Pont Warland say they are worried because they have already carried out repair work. “When I learned that the stability of the building was not threatened, I started to work. In just under a year, I must have already invested more than €25,000,” explained Jean Charrette.
His neighbour, Alain Verstraelen is also concerned. “A block of four houses would be destroyed. Two owners have already agreed,” he explains, adding that he does not want to sell his house. “I’m afraid of losing between €40,000 and €50,000 invested in the work. I also think I won’t find a property with as much potential for the price as I could receive.”
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The municipality insists that this is not a question of expropriation: “We take a constructive approach, even if the Wallonia Region doesn't want more houses in this area. If we cannot find a compromise, then the Region will take care of it,” warned the mayor, who assured that everyone should get a fair price.
“If work has been done, it is obvious that we will take it into account in the purchase price,” concludes the mayor.