At a time when women in Saudi Arabia have demanded equal treatment with men in the public area, especially when it comes to obtaining housing support, the executive bylaw for organizing housing support published by the Ministry of Housing on its website recently cited four instances in which Saudi women can get housing support from the Ministry of Housing. These conditions, if met, allow Saudi women married to expatriate men to obtain housing support if they can submit a document that shows the Saudi mother is the family’s main provider, Al-Hayat daily reported Friday. The housing crisis in Saudi Arabia is considered to be one of the biggest problems in society as over 70 percent of Saudi nationals do not own their own homes. The executive bylaw for organizing housing support, a copy of which Al-Hayat obtained, says Saudi women have the right to obtain housing support from the Ministry of Housing if the Saudi woman is providing for a family comprising a Saudi husband who cannot submit an application for housing support or if the Saudi woman is married to an expatriate and the couple’s son(s), if any, have not exceeded 25 years of age. The Saudi woman should be the sole breadwinner for the family and not her husband. In the second case, housing support will be granted if the Saudi woman is a divorcee and is providing for her son(s) whose age has not exceeded 25 years or her unmarried daughters. In the third case, support is granted if the Saudi woman is a widow who is providing for her son(s) whose age has not exceeded 25 years or her unmarried daughters. In the fourth case, the Saudi woman must be an unmarried orphan who has a non-Saudi mother who provides for her daughter. The Ministry of Housing said in a press release recently that it will abide by the date it set for distributing housing support for those who deserve it and provide suitable housing for those who do not own a house. The ministry said the distribution of housing projects will be in accordance with a mechanism that will guarantee justice and transparency for those who fulfill the conditions for receiving housing support. The ministry said work is going on in carrying out 60 projects comprising 60,000 housing units. Of these, the ministry has taken delivery of 11 projects whereas work is going on in the engineering design of 95 projects, for which bids will be invited. The ministry said last week that families that benefit from social insurance and receive monthly assistance from the Ministry of Social Affairs, will not get housing within the Iskan program, which the Ministry of Housing is carrying out. In order to get housing in the program, families must fulfill two basic conditions — first, the breadwinner of the family should be a man. Second, if the breadwinner is a woman, then she should obtain a document proving this.
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