Tahya Misr residential complex (Al-Asmarat district) - Press Photo
CAIRO - 4 January 2019: Social housing projects is an issue that is close to the heart of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Consequently, the Egyptian government has spent LE 20 billion to develop unsafe areas and provide decent housing for the residents of these areas, Hany Younis, spokesperson for the ministry of housing, said in 2018.
With an estimated 40 percent of the Cairene population living in informal settlements, according to the Ministry of Housing, and about 75 percent of urban areas throughout Egypt left unplanned and 1 percent unsafe altogether, according to the Informal Settlements Development Fund (ISDF), now part of the new Ministry for Urban Development, the government has left no stone unturned in its research towards putting a plan that will develop Egypt’s housing landscape and rid the country of the housing crisis that it has struggled with for so long.
The government has already rolled-out its project, ‘Development of Slums’, that aims to develop 1,100 slum areas by 2022. This comes in addition to the 130 slum areas that they have already been developing since 2016.
Soon, Port Said will be the first slum-free city in Egypt after the government has started its project to develop slums as part of the ‘Development of Slums’ Project; Port Said will see 80,000 housing units being built during fiscal year 2018/2019.
Additionally, the government has put LE 20 billion towards developing safe living areas; while another LE 100 billion was spent to establish about 600,000 social housing units over the past few years.
In May 2018, the Egyptian Parliament (House of Representatives) ratified the new Social Housing Law that will enable the establishment of a Social Housing Fun. Affiliated with the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, the fund will be considered a public service authority with several official offices in all of the country’s governorates.
The fund, according to the new law, will be responsible for providing housing units in the areas that will be selected by the government to those with limited income. The government is expected to issue another detailed law following the final approval explaining the needed criteria and conditions for applying to have these housing units. The law will ban each family from having more than just one unit.
Here are some of the areas that have been developed by the government:
Tal Al Aqareb area in Sayeda Zeinab
The residents of Tal Al-Aqareb were evacuated in 2016, after several unsafe buildings had been demolished and were transferred temporarily to a new housing area until the development of Tal Al-Aqareb is completed.
Khalil Shaath, head of Cairo governorate's informal-area-upgrading unit, said that in coordination with the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development, 815 housing units, which would house 3,500 people, have been built at Tal Al-Aqareb, along with 324 shops.
Just over 85 percent of the project was implemented.
Al-Mahrousa 1 and 2 projects
In the same context, Shaath remarked that the government has completed the construction of 90 percent of Al-Mahrousa 1 and 2 projects, which include 4,900 housing units. Al-Mahrousa 1 is comprised of 3,175 units, while Al-Mahrousa 2 boasts 1,594 units.
Al-Asmarat 3 project
At the beginning of 2017, the third district of the housing project in Al-Asmarat, Moqattam, was built, comprising 7,440 housing units. The project is constructed by the Tahya Misr Fund, in collaboration with the Armed Forces Engineering Authority.
Together to develop slums in Al -Salam 2 project
The project includes 3,312 housing units, which are built in collaboration between the Slum Development Fund and Together to develop slums.
Maspero Triangle project
Major General Mohammed Ayman Abdel Tawab, deputy governor of Cairo, said the government has been demolishing houses and shops in the Maspero Triangle in attempts to redevelop and modernize the three streets of the Bulaq Abul Ela district.