The Hayrapetyan family, who were forcibly displaced from Artsakh after the Azerbaijani aggression on September 19, 2023, recently learned that they are among those displaced after the 44-Day War of 2020 and, accordingly, are beneficiaries of housing certificates. After the 2020 war, they were displaced from Shushi, then settled in Stepanakert, and in September 2023, they were displaced again and moved to Armenia.

“We got interested quite by chance, filled out the application and received an answer that our family is a beneficiary of the 2020 housing program, whereas, being forcibly displaced, we left Artsakhmin 2023,” daughter-in-law of Hayrapetyans, Ani Hayrapetyan told about their problem.

There are now 13 members of this family: three sons with their wives and children, each of whom is a separate family and the main beneficiary, the mother, Susanna Hayrapetyan. Children will soon be born in both families. The state offers all of them the amount of one apartment: 10 million drams [about $25,000].

Ani says, first of all, it is not possible to buy an apartment with that money, even in the regions, and besides, how can 15 people live in one house? “We were separate families in Artsakh; we all lived in different places. Now I live in Gyumri with my family, my sister lives in Hrazdan, my husband’s brothers live somewhere else. How can they issue one house certificate for all of us?” says Ani.

The joint social service did not give clear answers to their questions. Instead, they directed them to go and live, for example, in Tavush region. It is noteworthy that the Hayrapetyans benefit from the social support programs for the displaced in 2020, therefore it is assumed that they are considered displaced in 2020.

Now, with the help of a lawyer, the family is trying to apply to the court to be able to take advantage of the housing program for displaced people in 2023.

“We have to fight for them to consider us displaced in 2023. Although with this program we will get less money to buy an apartment, but that does not interest me to me. Otherwise, how can they give 10 million for a family of 15 to buy just one apartment”, says Ani.

Apartment certificates: who, how?

After the 44-Day War of 2020, the government of Artsakh has listed the population displaced from some areas of Artsakh that came under the control of Azerbaijan in order to provide them with compensation. The compensation is a housing certificate for about 4176 residents. After receiving the certificate, the family has one year to purchase a house with a mortgage loan. The state offers up to 8 million drams in Yerevan, up to 10 million drams to buy a house in the rural regions. The program offers preferential conditions to those families who resettled in Artsakh in the 90s, then evacuated from Artsakh and decided to settle in any border village of Armenia. In that case, the amount to be subsidized is 14 million drams, and, in the case of construction, 16 million drams.

The problem is that the implementation period of this program ends on July 1, but according to some reports, the government intends to extend it until the end of this year, because about 1,100 beneficiaries are unable to get housing either because it is too expensive or there are none in the location they want.

Armen Chomoyan, head of the Haykazyan community of Kashatagh, says that the list of Artsakh residents displaced by the war in 2020 was compiled by the head of the given community and presented the final list to the Artsakh government. “The lists of beneficiaries of that period were fully approved by the Artsakh government and sent to Armenia, where certificates were issued. The Armenian government has nothing to do with the compilation of those lists. The Armenian government has something to do with this housing project, because they are the ones who will develop and implement this project,” Chomoyan told

In the case of the Hayrapetyan family, according to Chomoyan, Shushi’s head was officially authorized to compile the list, which was approved by the Ministry of Territorial Administration of Artsakh.

Chomoyan himself did the same and his family was also on the list of beneficiaries. He says that he managed to buy an apartment in Kotayk region.

But Armen’s sister, Sveta Chomoyan, received the certificate, but cannot get an apartment. She is an educator, works as a teacher in one of Yerevan’s high schools and agrees to at least buy an apartment in an area close to Yerevan, but the apartments are too expensive. “We have a great desire to use the program, but it still doesn’t work. I don’t know what will happen next,” says Sveta Chomoyan.

She went to Kashatagh region in 1997 as a teacher and resettled in Berdzor. After the 2020 war, she had to leave her home environment. “We have been in Yerevan for four years now. I got a job at a school. We got the certificate in 2022, but we still haven’t been able to buy a house. I would like to buy a house in Parakar, Argavand, Merdzavan, but we are looking and looking, it is not available, it is too expensive. When they hadn’t given the certificate yet, I was looking, the houses were at normal prices, but as soon as they gave the certificates, everything became expensive and we couldn’t buy a house”, says the teacher.

Hasmik Hambardzumyan

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