During President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s inauguration of 67,000 housing units in Badr City, Assem El-Gazzar, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities reviews the “National Housing Strategy”, Invest-Gate reports.

According to El Gazzar, the “National Housing Strategy” is characterized by three dimensions. First, the quantitative dimension, which focuses on reducing the gap between the supply and demand. Second, the qualitative dimension works to improve the quality of housing and the quality of life; and third, the spatial dimension, as the state tended to urban expansion and building new cities.

Referring to the quantitative dimension, El-Gazzar explains that the annual population increase is 2-2.5 million, which requires the provision of 500-600 thousand housing units annually, the largest part of which is provided by the state. In addition, the state worked to cover the gap between supply and demand (an accumulated deficit from previous years in housing units), which reached 2.5 million housing units in 2014.

Regarding supply, El Gazzar explains that the Ministry of Housing has worked on three elements. Firstly, the selection of sites, where are near work sites and major urban centers. Secondly, the design of the building and the housing unit, where the state offers a variety of architectural designs that suit different places and the customs and traditions of the Egyptian society. Thirdly, urban management, whereby an amount of money is collected in favor of the maintenance deposit.

Additionally, El Gazzar stresses that the state has made a great effort to increase the supply of housing units, explaining that during the period from 1976 to 2005, the state implemented housing units at a rate of 42,000 units annually, and during the period from 2005 to 2013. This rate is increased to 48,000 units annually, while during the period from 2015 until now, this rate reached 225,000 units annually.

Moreover, El Gazzar discloses that the state now has 1.5 million units, which are currently being implemented, including 775,000 low-income housing units at a rate of 52%, and 375,000 units in alternative housing for slum areas. The state further is developing the capitals of governorates at a rate of 25%, with a total of 77% for low-income housing and housing the alternative, besides 150,000 units in middle housing at a rate of 10%, and 200,000 units in distinguished housing at a rate of 13%. The current target is to implement 2.24 million units until 2024.

El Gazzar further states “We have spent  EGP 111 bn, in 10 new cities East Cairo, within seven years, of which 45% were in services, utilities, and roads, to achieve integrated urban development.”

Regarding demand, El Gazzar remarks that the ministry has worked on three axes. Firstly, forms of cash and in-kind support are provided, where financial support ranges between EGP 5 and EGP 60,000, is provided to the citizen in the social housing program, in addition to five forms of non-cash support (land cost – utility cost – contractors’ compensation – price differences – real estate financing interest rate support).

Secondly, the government has established real estate financing control for a total number of 371,000 beneficiaries at a total of EGP38 bn. lastly, the government has Launched presidential initiatives to support interest in real estate finance, which was recently updated to reach 3%.