136 families are being moved to Egypt's Asmarat alternative housing neighborhood



Tue, 12 Jan 2021 - 10:58 GMT


Tue, 12 Jan 2021 - 10:58 GMT

FILE - Asmarat Social Housing Project

FILE - Asmarat Social Housing Project

CAIRO – 12 January 2021: Asmarat social housing neighborhood - inaugurated four years ago – is currently receiving 136 families who used to live in Sayeda Aicha neighborhood but their buildings are about to collapse.


Cairo municipal authority has a target of demolishing 47 buildings housing 56 families and has already bulldozed 31 that used to have 35 families.


Asmarat offers alternative housing to slum dwellers granting them fully-furnished residential units. The current residents of Asmarat used to live in the slums of Ezbet Khair Allah, Tal Al Aqareb, Mansheyet Nasser, Al Doweiqa, Qaleat Al Kabsh, Al Mawardy, Istabl Anter, and Maspero Triangle.


Head of Asmarat Municipal Authority Hassan al-Ghandour told Al Watan newspaper that collaboration is underway with Orman Charity Organization to exempt widows, divorced women, and the disabled from paying rent – worth LE300 monthly - in the alternative housing project.


The municipal authority's head clarified that all maintenance and cleaning works carried out in the neighborhood are carried out by the dwellers as paid work in order to create a source of income for them.


The official pointed out that in a few days the National Council for Women (NCW) will launch an initiative dubbed "My family and I" aimed at sending 200 families from Asmarat to Marsa Matrouh coastal city to spend a week as a holiday. The NCW also sponsors a female football team having 129 players from Asmarat.


Ghandour underlined that the neighborhood is of a great interest to the political leadership and that Cairo governor visits the place weekly. He added that the neighborhood is home to several factories that secure 1,400 jobs to women paying them LE3,500 as income salary and offering paid internships at LE1,000.  


The official said that the products include garments, carpets, and watches, and that they get exported to the United States, Germany, and Saudi Arabia asserting that expansions in that realm are underway.


Asmarat 3 in Al-Mokattam district is under construction, and provides fully-furnished 7,440 housing units, each rented for a very low price of LE 350 ($22) per month.


The third phase of the project also includes a football pitch, four multi-purpose playgrounds, two swimming pools, a social building, a garden for children, four nurseries, four health units, a car mark that can hold up to 1,000 cars. Also, a mosque, a church and an automatic bakery production line will be established.


Concerning Asmarat dwellers, 13.6 percent of the families have female breadwinners, 47.7 percent consist of more than four members, and 65 percent have irregular workers, Social Solidarity Minister Nevin Al-Qabbaj said in July.


Also, 14.5 percent of the families suffer from chronic diseases or disabilities and 33 percent are illiterate.


Egypt will finish implementing 100,000 housing units during fiscal year of 2020/2021, in addition to planning to finish implementing 105,000 units in 2021/2022, Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it said in July.



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