Residents of La Palma feel cheated with new homes

by Lorraine Williamson
La Palma homes

Four hundred days after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, 44 residents received their so-called module homes on La Palma. The reactions of most residents are anything but positive and find it scandalous that they are being “put away” in these.  

“A shame.” “This should not be called a house.” “Only our black and white striped suits are missing.” These are the first reactions of some residents of Llanos de Aridane. The properties are so-called module houses, but according to residents, they look more like converted prison cells. This is because they are made from old containers that were used on ships.  

Coming weeks 85 module homes completed on La Palma 

Covering an area of 12,000 square metres, the 44 module homes have been completed. 24 homes have three bedrooms and 20 homes have two. The area of the homes varies between 50 and 60 square metres. Residents will receive €10,000 from the regional government to furnish their homes. The other 41 of the promised 85 homes will be completed in the coming weeks and are being built on the adjacent plot.  

La Palma residents feel cheated

The Canary Islands regional government painted a very rosy picture of what the new homes will look like. Therefore, according to many residents, the reality is one big disappointment. Bathrooms and toilets that have not been tiled, containers that are on stilts and the ground underneath has not yet been leveled and raised, no water and light, open drains, roofs that are not insulated and not waterproof. According to residents, it’s only a matter of time before a lot of pests come here. 

Housing foundation praises effort for construction of module homes on La Palma 

The director of the Canary Islands Housing Foundation says during the completion of the homes, everything had to be done in record time. “From preparing the land for construction to installing the homes. All this was done in 7 months while when we build traditional houses it takes us 2-3 years.” 

However, the director’s words do not sit well with residents. One of them says, “We had to live in different houses for the past 14 months after losing everything due to the volcanic eruption. And now they are patting themselves on the back for having done this so quickly, it’s ridiculous! I could cry.” 

Also read: The reconstruction of La Palma – one year on

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