Mon, Apr 15, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taiwanese-funded housing provided to Japanese seniors

A NEW HOME:Housing was built for seniors who lost their homes in the 2011 quake and tsunami with money Taiwanese donated to the Red Cross

Staff writer, with CNA

Housing units for senior citizens that were recently opened in Japan, partly funded by donations from the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China, are designed to shelter elderly people who lost their homes in the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, the charity said yesterday.

The two public-housing compounds with a total of 22 units were opened on Friday in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture.

Last year, a separate housing compound that was funded by the Taiwanese charity opened in the city, and another one is set to be completed in July, the charity said, adding that the projects are a collaboration between the charity and the Soma City Government.

The compounds, with a combined construction cost of ¥100 million (US$1.01 million), will be able to provide housing for about 100 elderly people, Red Cross deputy secretary-general Samuel Chen (陳士良) said.

Construction of the new 1,980m2 and 4,000m2 compounds began in March last year, said the Red Cross, which received NT$2.57 billion (US$86.02 million) in donations from the Taiwanese public after the disasters in northeastern Japan.

The housing units are to be rented out at a low price to elderly couples or seniors living alone. The design of the compounds was inspired by a 50-year-old Japanese housing style, which stresses use of shared eating, laundry, activity and other public living spaces, the charity said.

In the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Taiwan donated US$260.64 million in cash to Japan, 90 percent of which came from private donors.

It was the highest amount from any country.

Official figures compiled after the disaster listed 15,883 people dead, 2,681 missing and more than 1.1 million houses destroyed or damaged.

Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures were among the areas hardest-hit by the disaster.

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