Iraq Introduces Measures to Tackle Housing Crisis
The Iraqi government has adopted a series of measures to tackle the housing crisis arising from the decade-old sanctions, newspapers reported Saturday.
The government decided at its weekly session Sunday to facilitate the granting of building permits, and asked the relevant ministries to extend the electricity, sewage and telephone networks to areas ripe for construction, the press said.
The measures aim to remedy the housing crisis brought about by a lack of construction materials because of the embargo imposed on Iraq since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The government also decided to offer 300,000 plots of land in different provinces to members of the armed forces and security services and to give them bank loans to allow them to build houses.
The measures coincide with the trade ministry's announcement that iron rods used to reinforce concrete will be sold at less than 50 percent of cost price to encourage Iraqis to build.
According to official figures, Iraq needs some 3.3 million housing units to meet the needs of its population, which is growing at 2.8 percent a year - BAGHDAD (AFP)
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