A survey on the progress of housing projects for the victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami revealed that developments are still too slow. More than 10,000 evacuees still have no place to go as government officials are having difficulty in securing lands. There are also not enough public workers to start and complete the project.
Out of the planned 28,017 housing units, more than 30 percent or about 9,000 homes will be delayed. These units, where evacuees will take shelter after leaving their temporary housing by fiscal 2015, are to be distributed to the prefectures of Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi. This will leave more than 10,000 evacuees without a place to go.
As of the end of August, only 448 units or 1.5 percent of the housing projects have been built in 11 municipalities. However, the Board of Audit said that about 25,000 housing units, or 14.8 percent, are expected to be completed by the end of this fiscal year. By the end of fiscal 2014, only 9,074 units or 32.3 percent are likely to be built in two prefectures and 17 municipalities while the expected number of units to be built by the end of fiscal 2016 is 3,745 or 13.3 percent.
When asked for the reasons of delays, “difficulty in securing land” was found to be the main cause in two prefectures and 16 municipalities. “Shortage of public employees,” also mentioned by 9 municipalities, is another cause of the delay. Complicated and time-consuming procedures, like land acquisition to reclamation and construction, have also been given as causes of delay. According to a city official in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, “We have support workers coming from outside the prefecture, but they are not familiar with the area. We can’t even acquire the necessary land.”