Miyagi opens first post-3/11 housing


A ceremony was held Monday in Miyagi Prefecture to mark the completion of the first public housing units to be built after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

In a ceremony held in the town of Yamamoto, Mayor Toshio Saito handed over the keys to nine households who survived and were screened to ensure they were eligible for public housing.

Kiyoshi Shimada, 74, who received one of the keys, said he is looking forward to leaving his one-room temporary housing unit and moving into his new two-bedroom house in early May.

He also said he hopes to get along with his neighbors, since he will be living alone.

Fumiko Abe, 50, who will move into one of the new units with her mother and sister, checked out their three-bedroom house after receiving the keys to the property.

As of Monday, 18 houses had been completed in Yamamoto, 12 units in Sendai and 50 in the city of Ishinomaki.

The Miyagi Prefectural Government plans to complete about 16,000 houses for disaster victims by March 2016.