Egypt plans to construct a million houses to curb shortage

Construction of prison wardens' houses in Tanzania on track
Construction of prison wardens' houses in Tanzania on track

Egypt plans to construct a million houses for the poor and low income earners to curb the current housing shortage being witnessed in the country.

According to Egyptian housing minister Mustafa Madbouly the mega project is expected to cost almost $20 billion over the next five years in order to ease a crunch that has seen slums and unlicensed buildings spread since the 2011 revolt.

In Egypt the current population stands at about 90 million and the government officials have projected the population to exceed 120 million by the year 2050.

Currently many Egyptians living in sprawling slums, the country is struggling to build enough houses for the poorest in society. So many people live in a network of tombs in Cairo that the area has become known as the City of the Dead.

Housing Minister Mustafa Madbouly in a statement said that the country needs to construct about 500,000-600,000 new homes a year to keep up with demand, 70 percent of which should be aimed at the poor. The social housing project will see 200,000 new homes built each year, meeting over half the annual demand for cheap housing.

Private developers, who have built new suburbs around Cairo, are meeting the needs of middle and higher income Egyptians who can buy homes outright or obtain mortgages.

Egypt is financing its social housing scheme through land sales to developers building higher-end homes, Madbouly said. “This is totally being implemented by the Egyptian government and the ministry of housing with a total investment that exceeds 150 billion Egyptian pounds ($19.16 billion),” he said on the sidelines of the Egypt Mega Projects conference.

“We are making use of the projects we are offering to the private sector to finance and cross-subsidise the social housing programme.”

Egypt also says it plans to  invest LE10 billion to develop 248 slum areas across Egypt by 2018. Priority will be given to “first- and second-degree hazardous” structures that threaten the safety of the 150,000 families living in these areas.


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