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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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3,000 Kalijodo residents to be left homeless

  • Safrin La Batu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, February 17, 2016 | 06:23 pm
3,000 Kalijodo residents to be left homeless Red door: A motorcyclist passes by a nighttime entertainment complex in Kalijodo, North Jakarta, Tuesday. Tension in the capital’s largest red-light district has been rising since the city administration announced last week that it planned to convert the district into a park.(JP/Seto Wardhana) (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Red door: A motorcyclist passes by a nighttime entertainment complex in Kalijodo, North Jakarta, Tuesday. Tension in the capital'€™s largest red-light district has been rising since the city administration announced last week that it planned to convert the district into a park.(JP/Seto Wardhana)

Many of the 3,000 residents who are set to be evicted from Kalijodo, North Jakarta, will likely have nowhere to go as the city administration is yet to provide alternative housing for them.

Single mother of three, Jok Ling Tang Ling, 52, said she did not know where to go if the city administration went ahead with the eviction plan. She said she lived in a semi-permanent house in Kalijodo because she could not afford renting a house.

'€œWhere can I go if this place is evicted? A rusunawa [low-cost rental apartment] is definitely not an option because I cannot afford it. I am struggling to buy the daily necessities, let alone to pay rent,'€ said the woman, who works as a neighborhood tailor.

She said the eviction would also affect the education of her children.

'€œTwo of my children attend the free Pondok Domba elementary school here while the other one is at a nearby state junior high school,'€ she said. Ling said she had a Jakarta identity card.

The Jakarta administration has announced that it will only provide rusunawa for families who have Jakarta ID cards but the Housing and Administrative Buildings Agency has yet to determine the locations of the apartments.

Agency head Ika Lestari Aji said the administration had provided only 300 rusunawa in two complexes in North and East Jakarta, but she refused to name the exact location.

Recently, the Indonesian Real Estate Association (REI) announced that it had completed construction of 360 rusunawa units in Pulogebang in East Jakarta. Besides Pulogebang, other rusunawa in the capital do not have many units available.

Jakarta Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama has been adamant in his demands to demolish the 1.6 hectare area in North and West Jakarta that is notorious for its seedy nightlife and thugs. He wants to turn the area along Jl. Kepanduan II into a park, as stipulated in a 2014 bylaw on detailed spatial planning. The Jakarta Police have agreed to back the plan and are aiming for a March eviction.

The Kalijodo local authority'€™s data shows that of 3,052 residents, only 1,405 are involved in red-light district businesses. The 1,405 included about 450 prostitutes, 300 waitresses, 100 security personnel including parking officers and 300 support workers such as cleaners. The rest have jobs or businesses that are not a part of the area'€™s nightlife.

The administration has said those that do not have Jakarta ID cards would be returned to their hometowns.

Razman Arif Nasution, a lawyer representing some of the residents, said that around 1,000 residents had Jakarta ID cards. '€œIt would be better if the administration allocated the two rusunawa to previously evicted residents,'€ he told reporters at a press briefing in Kalijodo on Tuesday. Razman was referring to evictions in other areas where the residents are yet to be relocated.

Of the 1,040 families evicted from Kampung Pulo in East Jakarta, around 500 of them are yet to receive an apartment. Dozens of evicted families from Pinangsia, West Jakarta, are yet to receive housing as well.

Kalijodo residents have insisted that they are not illegal residents, saying that some even possessed land certificates issued by the National Land Agency (BPN).

Architect Bambang Eryudhawan said that, according to Law No. 26/2007 on land development, the administration had the right to take any land that fell under spatial planning bylaws regardless of whether people living there had BPN land certificates. However, he said that residents could file a petition in court to oppose any eviction plans.

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