The government has completed constructing of 500,000 state subsidized housing units in Egypt aimed at curbing housing shortage in the country.
According to Egypt’s housing ministry the houses will be strictly meant for the low and middle income earners.
The ministry opened its doors to applicants registering for what it described as the country’s largest-ever offering of low-income housing, with more than 500,000 state-subsidised units up for grabs.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has tried to build support with a populist message, the success of the programme would mean achieving what previous governments failed to do. Meeting that target also would bolster confidence in his government amid a deteriorating economy.
But the programme will not address the full magnitude of the country’s housing shortage and the units will be out of reach for the poorest, analysts say. Moreover, the programme has limited participation by the private sector.
Sisi administration officials say a government fund established last year to finance construction of affordable housing has 61bn Egyptian pounds ($6.87bn) for the new fiscal year starting July, from loans, the World Bank and profit from property and land sales.
That is enough to complete nearly 400,000 units still needed to meet a target of 656,000 units set by Mr Sisi for end of April 2017, says Housing Ministry spokesman Hany Younis.
“This is more than 10 times what we annually built in past years,” Mr Younis said.
The programme, which Mr Sisi is continuing, offers three-bedroom units about 90 square metres in size for sale at $17,350 each.
Accepted applicants get a cash subsidy of as much as £25,000, depending on their income, and a 20-year mortgage with interest rates of 5% to 7%.