MUNICIPAL councils have called on the government to provide more funds to renovate dilapidated homes that have been waiting for a facelift for more than six years.

Rundown houses are revamped by the Municipalities Affairs and Agricultural Ministry, which allocates BD500,000 for each governorate as part of a BD2 million budget covering all four governorates.

However, councillors from Bahrain’s three municipal councils – Northern, Southern and Muharraq – alongside the Capital Trustees Board are now seeking an extra BD100,000 each, with the total budget set to hit BD2.4m. They also want BD250,000 each for waterproofing and rain insulation, which would amount to BD1m annually.

The proposal for more funds was reviewed at a joint meeting attended by the four municipal authorities. However, it has been approved so far only by the Southern Municipal Council and the Capital Trustees Board.

“The new budget will allow us to provide better quality of services for citizens, most of whom have been waiting for a facelift for their homes for almost six years,” said Capital Trustees Board chairman Saleh Tarradah. “We understand that resources are scarce, but we have to consider the dangers of leaving dilapidated homes unattended.”

Meanwhile, Southern Municipal Council chairman Abdulla Abdullatif said an agreement to adjust criteria for eligibility to get a home facelift or repairs in the case of a fire has been decided.

“We want the income cap for breadwinners to be increased from BD800 to BD1,000, should they apply for waterproofing or repairs following fires or collapse of a part of the building,” he said.

“The homeowner’s income should be calculated on the basis of their basic salary, excluding allowances. We are just trying to help without draining public coffers.”

The decisions would be reviewed by Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture Minister Wael Al Mubarak.

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