The haemorrhaging district

By Misch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

The social housing units of the Cité de l'aéroport in Findel, Sandweiler, is being emptied at the request of the state and bricked up. The entire neighbourhood is to be demolished as soon as the last residents have moved out - even though there is no new project for the site yet.

From inside the first floor of a vacant house in the Cité de l'aéroport in Sandweiler, a construction worker heaves a brick onto a half-walled-up windowsill. The ground floor has already been sealed and a metal grille has been installed in front of the entrance door. A second worker cuts the next bricks in front of the house. At the end of the shift, nobody will be able to enter the building. The last thing the construction worker will see through the soon-to-be-closed window is a wooden garden shed in which someone has set up temporary sleeping quarters.

For almost ten years, the house was one of 14 social housing units in the Cité de l'aéroport in the north of the municipality of Sandweiler, managed by the Agency for Social Housing (AIS) and rented out to low-income families. This is exactly half of the 28 houses in the neighbourhood. Now the Ministry of Finance, which owns the flats, has "informally" informed AIS that they will not be allowed to take on any new people in the flats when the current contracts expire. "The condition of the houses – mainly due to humidity – makes them no longer suitable for residential use. In addition, one house has been damaged by fire, " is the reason given in response to a Journal enquiry. An assessment that Gilles Hempel, director of AIS, disagrees with: the 14 flats they managed "are – or were – in good condition, otherwise we wouldn't have housed anyone there."

You want more? Get access now.

  • One-year subscription

  • Monthly subscription

  • Zukunftsabo for subscribers under the age of 26


Already have an account?

Log in