CAIRO: As more upscale residential developments spring up around Cairo, the shortage in low-income housing supply becomes more obvious.
The newest addition to the list of affordable housing initiatives was announced by the Ministry of Housing earlier this week, marking land prices down 5 percent in Cairo’s satellite cities in a bid to encourage small contractors.
Units sized 120 square meters in New Cairo are priced at LE 2,500 per square meter, LE 1,470 in Sheikh Zayed, LE 1,400 in Sixth of October City and LE 1,000 for Shorouk and Obour cities. The ministry says the discounted prices are meant to attract small investors to build in the allotted areas.
We are targeting [to build] 50,000 to 70,000 housing units all over Egypt, Abdel Hamid Sheaar, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, told Daily News Egypt.
Prices in areas outside of Cairo are even cheaper: LE 800 per square meter in Badr 15th of May City, LE 700 in Minya, Assiut and Tenth of Ramadan, LE 500 in New Beni Suef, LE 1400 in New Damietta, LE 450 in Borg El-Arab, LE 350 in Fayoum and LE 300 in Aswan and New Sohag.
A number of government initiatives have been launched to meet the growing demands of the lower and middle income brackets, including the National Housing Project.
The Small Investor Project is targeting building contractors who do not have the financial capabilities to participate in land auctions and cannot afford to buy land at consistently soaring prices.
The aim of the project is to give a push to small constructors and to solve the housing problem for people with low income, Sheaar added.
To minimize the possibility of fraud, the ministry conducts credit checks to determine the financial viability of potential investors. “We contact banks to make sure this is a real contractor.and see if he has enough money to begin the building process, Sheaar explained.
If the prospective contractors outnumber the pieces of land on offer, the ministry will draw a name from the list of contractors on site.
The New Urban Communities Authority has already bought 20 percent of the units on offer, around 3,200 plots of land, on which they will build 45,000 residential units in 18 new cities. The ministry will sell these units semi-finished.