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VIJAYAWADA: The departure of migrant workers for their home states has led to a sharp drop in the demand for rented houses. Boards advertising rooms for rent have become a common sight in the city as those dependent on rental income have started to feel the pinch.

With the lockdown, several migrant labourers working at Jawahar Auto Nagar, in the construction and small scale industries lost their jobs and returned to their home towns.

Houses at Gulabi Thota, Ajith Singh Nagar, Pasupu Thota, Bhanu Nagar, Madhuranagar and Kandrika have remained vacant for two months and to-let boards have also been hung in front of houses in slums.

“We would give two portions of our three-storeyed building out on rent. We had rented them to the families of carpenters from Rajasthan. They left for their home towns after the lockdown was imposed. These portions have remained vacant for the last two months. We are in a terrible situation as my husband is a senior citizen and rentals are the only source of income for us,” said M Sagaramma from Bhanu Nagar.

At Prasadampadu, Enikepadu, Gollapudi and areas on the outskirts of the city, the number of houses taken on rent have come down by 30 per cent in two months.

“House owners in Vijayawada doubled the rents after Amaravati was declared the capital city in 2015. The middle-class and the poor faced problems in paying rents. Demand for rented houses in the city again reduced after the three capital cities proposal was made. Covid-19 lockdown has resulted in a further fall in rent. We used to pay Rs 12,000 as rent for a 3 BHK flat in Ramavarappadu and have now shifted to a similar flat with a rent of Rs 9,000,” said K Janardhan, a private employee.

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