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Daily News Egypt: Will government intervention bridge the housing gap in Egypt?

Housing Ministry depends on “social housing” and makes adjustments to the project’s main axes.
26.09.16 | Interesting article at Daily News Egypt

The main mission before the Ministry of Housing is the provision of shelter for citizens for different income segments through subsidised projects for low-income individuals, in addition to units and lands provided to middle-income segments. There are also special lands and units provided to segments with higher incomes.

In Egypt, official and unofficial statistics show the annual demand on real estate of nearly 350,000 to 500,000 units per year for different segments. The products provided to low-income individuals do not exceed 30,000 flats annually.

In 2011, after the 25 January Revolution, the Ministry of Housing revealed the implementation of a project to build one million units for low-income individuals. More than six million citizens competed for the units of the project through reservation forms sent through the mail.

The size of the project now is estimated at 250,000 units in new cities and governorates. The Ministry of Housing revealed a plan to implement 400,000 units to reach a total number of 650,000 flats by the end of 2017.

The ministry’s plan includes providing shelter to other income segments. It is implementing the Dar Misr project to provide housing for middle-income citizens. The project includes selling unsubsidised units with a profit margin less than common in the real estate sector, as well as housing lands for the same unit and other special units for the construction of villas and buildings.

Criticism is mostly directed towards the ministry’s performance for the one million-units project. Experts in the sector believe that the project alone will not be enough to bridge the housing gap in Egypt. The project includes palaces in some aspects. The system used on all units is ownership rather than rent.

In an attempt to alter the path of the project, the cabinet has approved the annexation of other units as a first phase, in which about 6,000 units will be provided for rent to individuals with incomes less than EGP 20,000 monthly, in addition to 20,000 units for syndicates, while there are nearly 20,000 unsubsidised units provided to individuals with incomes of EGP 5,000.