Construction workers joining ranks of Pattaya’s homeless

Construction News
The President of the Thai Real Estate Association, Pornnarit Chuanchaisit

Construction workers joining ranks of Pattaya’s homeless

The homeless population in Pattaya is increasing each passing day.

The growth of Pattaya’s homeless population has been fueled by the closures of hotels, restaurants and other tourist businesses. But, increasingly, they’re being joined by former construction workers.

Even before Pattaya shut down two construction camps run by Reuanchan Construction Co. and Porncharoen Construction Co. at the Supalai Ville Pattaya-Motorway project on Chaiyapornwithi Road June 26, builders were being put out of work by the coronavirus crisis.

Chonburi is not among the provinces affected by a central government order shutting down construction camps in the Bangkok metropolitan area and Deep South. But Thailand’s recession – now entering its seventh quarter – has tanked the property market, stopping ongoing construction and delaying the start of new projects.

Wipa, a clerk for a Pattaya construction company, said she became homeless after losing her job, which left her unable to pay the rent.

Many real estate businesses in Pattaya City have closed down.

Pornnarit Chuanchaiyasit, president of the Thai Real Estate Association, estimated the month-long closure of projects in the capital and Deep South could cost the economy 80 million baht in revenue.

He admitted that the camps, built of wood and tin shacks or tents with no indoor plumbing and a lack of basic sanitation, are substandard compared with other countries and need to be upgraded.

He said employers need to do more to ensure such camps, populated overwhelmingly by migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia and other neighboring countries, are not left to become breeding grounds for disease.