Following the allocation of housing units to applicants, there have been several reported instances of those awarded units offering to sell them through subcontractors.
The resale of low-income housing units has been especially prominent in 6 October where the ministry delivered 13,000 units, according to one of those applicants awarded a housing unit.
In February, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi awarded residential unit contracts in 6 of October to applicants after a blind draw was conducted. The Ministry of Housing had offered 30,000 units in the framework of the Social Housing Projects announced before the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The project has been implemented in cooperation with the Egyptian armed forces. The projects have been implemented in 6 October, New Cairo, Badr, and Marsa Matrouh.
Hamdi Mohamed, a lawyer and applicant who was awarded a social housing unit, confirmed that he received an offer from a broker in 6 October to buy his unit at an lucrative price.
“The applicants pay the broker from EGP 3000 to EGP 5000 to finalise the sale and record the unit in notary offices through bribes,” Mohamed said.
“As a lawyer, I know this is illegal; the law states that the owner of the social housing unit is not allowed to sell his unit before having owned the property for seven years,” said Mohamed.
Mohamed noted that he is not the only person who received this offer. Some of the winners do not require their units anymore as they have a private property; so they want to use the value of the property for other means.
The notary offices forbid the sale of social housing units to other parties before seven years has passed; the penalty is a one-year prison sentence and fine not to exceed EGP 7,000.
A broker in 6 October spoke to a Daily News Egypt reporter who approached the broker under the pretence of buying a social housing unit. The broker said it would be difficult but he could manage it, saying that it would be expensive as the seller wanted to make a profit.
The broker demanded EGP 5,000 to finalise the papers during the first meeting in his office in 6 October.
He explained that the price of units ranges between EGP 18,000 and EGP 150,000, according to the unit’s specifications.
The selling process is handled through a preliminary contract as well as a delegation contract, the broker said.
Meanwhile, another broker in the same region said that very few of the applicants who had putatively been awarded units had received their units, contrary to the Ministry of Housing’s announcement. He stated that he had not received any requests from applicants to sell their units, stating that the risk of punishment was prohibitive at the moment.
He demanded that the Ministry of Housing re-examine those applicants who had been awarded housing units to see whether they deserve these units.
Naglaa Adel received an offer from a broker to buy a social housing unit through a subcontractor. However, she declined, preferring to wait for the next allocation of units to applicants.
“This process is unsecure, so, instead, I will apply again in the coming phase of the project. Perhaps I will win a unit,” Adel said.
Daily News Egypt asked for a comment from the notary office in 6 October. The office contended that there have not been any instances of housing units resold as it is illegal and forbidden.