A very different "Borg Al-Arab": construction of government subsidized housing almost complete in Alexandria
Under the supervision of the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, more than 6,000 residential units have been constructed in Borg Al-Arab in Alexandria, the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development announced Saturday.
The units are part of the government’s social housing programme, adopted after the 25 January Revolution, which aims to offer 1m residential units to low-income citizens.
In an official statement, the housing ministry said it is “actively” working to complete the remaining residential units on schedule.
Criticising the social housing programme, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said in April that 50% of the lowest-income Egyptians will be unable to benefit.
To qualify to purchase housing under the programme, a family must have an income between EGP 23,040 and EGP 40,000, EIPR said. To rent a residential unit, a family must make less than EGP 18,000 a year ($2500).
But according to official figures from the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS), only 10% of Egyptians take in an average yearly income of EGP 42,789 ($6000) , while the minimum income of a middle class family stands at EGP 23,097 ($3000). Therefore, EIPR argued, most low-income families won’t benefit from the programme.
The New Urban Communities Authority, in cooperation with the Armed Forces, is currently studying adopting the social housing programme in Al-Salheya Al-Gedida city in Sharqeya Governorate, according to Saturday’s statement.
As part of the programme, the housing ministry began accepting reservations for 50,000 residential units in 10th of Ramadan, Al-Sadat, and New Assiut in mid-April.
Meanwhile, five investors have applied for a tender to establish an urban community in Al-Salheya Al-Gedida City, consisting of 1,500 buildings and villas and 50 commercial shops, the housing ministry said. The government hopes the community will attract investors as well as house citizens.