Most official statistics in Iran cannot be trusted, and each government institution has its own statistics. However, according to the most general statistics, more than 30 million marginalized people now live across the country.
Marginalized people are the unfortunate immigrants of the cities or those expelled from the major cities. They have settled on the outskirts of metropolitans in shantytowns in the hope that they will pay less for housing.
The state-run daily Eqtesad-e-Saramad reports on a new phenomenon among Iranians who live in slums:
“When the villagers and even the inhabitants of the counties went to big cities and metropolises like Tehran, they found that they could not afford to pay rent because of low wages and the employment slump. So, they went to the outskirts of the city.
“In the meantime, however, the Connex sleepers are a relatively new phenomenon. However, Connex sleeping is also a type of marginalization and temporary residence but based on the idea that any place that has a roof, can become a house. For the suburban population of the capital, it has more security and comfort than the slums.”
The paper then points out the disadvantages of this type of living, noting that the Connex sleeping is apparently a more affluent circuit than the slums: “The Connexes, therefore, are home to the more affluent marginalized population, which, of course, does not solve the housing problem for the homeless, and the numerous marginalization problems and harms for the dwellers of this shelters. This has become a scourge that contributes to various social ills.
“However, some officials are still in a state of denial, and they believe that this type of housing is not common in Tehran. But a warning from Massoud Rezaei, deputy chairman of the parliament’s social commission, about the danger of an outbreak of the Connex sleeping in the capital shows that the damage must be taken seriously.”
“In addition to all that has been said above about immigration and the problem of immigrant housing, this new phenomenon must be added to this issue. The Connex sleeping next to the tomb and the rooftop sleeping are now in vogue. Owners of Tehran housing agencies say this is a new way of living in Tehran.
“Sellers and installers of the Connexes also say the phenomenon is more prevalent in the suburbs. Some real estate consultants in Tehran report the limited existence of these blocks in the middle of the city, including District 22,” the outlet added.
“Currently, in District 22 of Tehran Municipality, the neighborhoods around it and around the ‘Persian Gulf Lake’ and the areas around Hashtgerd county, workers are experiencing rooftop sleeping. An issue that is the starting point of Connex living and suburbanization.”
But the inhabitants of these Connexes are betting on the losing horse while this outlet added: “The head of the Iranian Real Estate Advisors Association says: ‘Living in common spaces in these Connexes is not legal, and buyers can only use these Connexes on their own land.'”
“Hesam Aqba’i emphasizes that the condominiums do not have a title deed and that it is not legal to conduct transactions in the real estate consultants’ units to buy or mortgage and rent them.”
The daily then added: “Builders and sellers, however, say they have rented out most of the second-hand Connex units to the lower deciles of society at low rates. And usually, they do not rent these units from official bases. Of course, renting is rare in such cases, and everyone is looking to buy these mobile units.”
According to a housing market activist: “This phenomenon is seen in some areas of Tehran in the form of renting a trailer, but it is illegal to build a Connex on the roofs of houses and common areas. However, these illegal cases are not dealt with seriously in the city structure and can be easily solved by paying money from the owners.”