Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities Assem El Gazzar said a total of 1 mn residential units are underway, at combined costs exceeding EGP 200 bn, as part of the efforts to present decent housing for slum dwellers as well as lower- and middle-income people, Invest-Gate reports.

According to the minister, 250,000 housing units are underway to rehouse residents of unsafe areas, at a total cost of EGP 61 bn, alongside 750,000 others as part of the Social Housing Program, with investments worth EGP 145 bn, he uncovered on the sidelines of the inauguration of phase III of the Al Asmarat project for the development of informal settlements on July 12.

Since June 2014, merely 296 out of the country’s total 357 unsafe slums, comprising 175,897 units, were rehabilitated, while work is ongoing on 54 others across 14 provinces, with almost 65,500 houses, El Gazzar further added, underscoring that coordination to start development of another seven informal areas, including 1,521 homes, was initiated.

In general, slums located in 13 governorates have successfully been eradicated, in a bid to make Egypt slum-free by year-end as informal settlements constitute around 40% of the country’s urban areas, he emphasized.

As for social housing, 610,000 apartments have been established for lower-class citizens and youth, with costs valued at EGP 90 bn, besides 140,000 others for middle-income buyers in Sakan Misr, Dar Misr, and JANNA housing projects, with investments estimated at EGP 54 bn.

This comes in addition to the 250,000 social housing units that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had previously decreed for the extension to Egyptians across all governorates, effective as of last April, the minister stressed.

In a separate statement on July 7, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly gave the go-ahead for the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to extend EGP 30 bn, partly borne by the finance ministry, to subsidize the aforementioned residences until 2023, pointing out that the Ministry of Housing has already begun rolling out land plots to commence implementation.