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Aging buildings pose a fiscal problem for Naha

Date Posted: 2008-10-16

Tight budgets and a lack of cash have Naha City officials looking for creative solutions to upgrading decrepit facilities within the community.

With 44% of the city-owned apartment buildings more than 35 years old, numerous repairs are needed, but there’s not enough money available to do the job. Officials say 6,600 families are in the city-owned buildings, and the quality of life for those residents is suffering. A long term solution, they say, is to tear down the many public apartment buildings tucked away in various housing areas, and replace them with skyscrapers.

Revenue from waste treatment facilities that burn trash to generate electricity is offsetting some repairs, and waste products reduction is saving Naha City precious money. Repair plans were instituted last year for city-owned buildings.

Naha City officials say the problem extends beyond residential buildings. Schools are in need of repairs, and 43% must be rebuilt because they do not meet earthquake protection standards.
A growing community also means an insufficient number of school classrooms available, and Naha City has earmarked money for new construction. Okinawa Prefecture-owned apartments are also in short supply, with more than 1,400 current applicants vying for the 20 rooms available.

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