The Saudi Ministry of Housing signed deals with two national real estate companies on Wednesday to build more than 10,000 housing units in its Eastern Province in the Al-Qatif Governorate, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The signing ceremony was held at the headquarters of the Asharqiya Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Damman in the presence of Saudi Minister of Housing Abdullah Al-Huqail. The signed deals are expected to provide for 30% of the needed housing units in the Eastern Province, and also cover infrastructure works.

Saudi Arabia, where housing projects were traditionally largely conducted by the government, has recently started to employ private companies due to pressure on its economy and state budget.

The signed deals are part of the Kingdom’s project to build 1.5 million homes during the coming years in order to address a housing shortage, according to Gulf Business.