Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities Assem El Gazzar said the state aims to increase Egypt’s inhabited land to 12-14% compared to the current figures of 6-7%, as part of Egypt’s National Strategic Plan for Urban Development 2052, Invest-Gate reports.

This came during a press conference held to present the housing ministry’s vision of adopting sustainable development in the implementation of the state’s strategic plan. El Gazzar also highlighted that such limited habitable land area affects the country economically, particularly because Egypt’s annual population increase is about 2.5 mn people, according to a ministerial statement on March 7.

Achieving this goal will be through setting a complete plan for the development of existing road networks, as well as, the provision of necessary highway projects; in addition to redoubling all economic activities sufficient to bridge the gap in old cities, the minister stressed.

In addition, El Gazzar said about 700,000 housing units have been implemented in the state’s social housing program, which aims to enable the low-income segment to obtain a decent housing unit. He pointed out that the program seeks to cater to all target groups and meet their demands.

El Gazzar confirmed that 62% of the private sector workers and self-employed people are benefitting from the social housing program and 90% of those with monthly income less than EGP 2,500 are also beneficiaries, while 75% of the 21-40 age group made use of the program.

Mai Abdel Hamid, CEO of Social Housing Fund and Mortgage Finance Support, said a number of means have been provided to reach the appropriate applicants for social housing units. She added that 13 customer service centers are available in new cities’ authorities and governorates to guarantee a seamless process.

Abdel Hamid revealed several plans to support the social housing project such as increasing the value of direct cash support, providing the necessary funding to support the interest rate, offering new land plots in high demand governorates, as well as, providing the necessary funding to build 100,000-150,000 housing units annually.

Other plans include completing the previously proposed housing units, reviewing the targeted income segments, launching the housing market’s first index, supporting rents in the real estate market, and setting a mechanism for the maintenance of residential units.