The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) hired 242 private companies to develop the first phase of the social housing project, according to Moustafa Ibrahim, a member of the housing and utilities sector’s central administration at the Ministry of Housing, reported Daily News Egypt.

In May 2015, NUCA issued seven bids in four cities to develop lands for one million units under the social housing program, according to Daily News Egypt.

Several private offices, have also been hired by NUCA to develop strategic plans and provide technical and engineering specifications

According to Ibrahim, the ministry and NUCA have successfully cooperated with the private sector in the development of social housing projects.

“Partnership with the private sector was not at the required level,” said Salama Abdel Aziz, a member of the central administration.

Pertaining to the rise in land prices, Salama said the ministry will reconsider prices if companies refrain from buying lands in NUCA’s auctions.

About 101,000 units of the Social Housing Program were completed in 2015, and about 155,000 units are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.