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Government revolution to settle housing crisis

WE HAVE been orbiting the housing circle for 40 years. No house for citizens has been constructed until now and the people’s affairs have yet to be settled. Unfortunately, the projects, proposals and solutions presented, so far, have only worsened the problem. All plans announced on the issue are nothing but frivolous speech which has no scientific basis due to the inability to understand the problem; while working for personal benefits or some unknown factors. Until when will the situation remain like this amidst the growing demand for housing welfare; in addition to the rising prices of real estate properties up to the extent the citizens could no longer find private accommodations?

Under such circumstances, neither the Credit and Savings Bank nor the proposal to increase the housing loan amount to KD100,000 is useful. Moreover, the proposed subsidy for building materials is ineffective; because such suggestions are linked to the unreasonable price hikes caused by the traders’ desire to gain more profits.

It seems the problem is endless. A time will come when the demand for housing welfare, submitted by a Kuwaiti, will be treated like any other transaction kept in the drawers of the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW). If the government is keen on solving this protracted issue, it should implement the plan laid down by former Minister of Public Works Bader Al-Humaidi to construct residential cities consisting of about 90,000 ready-made apartments. These are well-planned residential cities whose cost then was less than the cost today. However, the issue has been exploited. It has become a habit in Kuwait to use such cases to invest in the bazaar of elections to serve political and personal interests. This led to the suspension of the project, so the suffering of the people has doubled.

What prevents the government from implementing this plan today, since it is still considered the best solution despite the high cost? Once the plan is put into action, we will no longer need the Credit and Savings Bank nor the KD100,000 housing loan which, by the way, is not enough to purchase land or build a house. A crucial and complicated issue like this will not be solved through ordinary ways. It necessitates a revolution against the infertile bureaucracy, which hinders not only the implementation of projects but also efforts to improve the lives of all Kuwaitis. We need this revolution without resorting back to the speech we heard four decades ago; especially since several engineering errors were found in the housing projects that were implemented earlier. Therefore, the citizen was not rescued from the dilemma of searching for accommodation or shelter for his family.

Yes, if the government is serious in solving this problem; it must grab the chance to push for the continuation of work on four residential cities which have been allocated and are now ready for construction. The concerned authorities are now expected to float international tenders for these projects, considering there are by companies ready to construct these cities in line with international standards.  Put aside the beneficiaries and those who raise doubts on people’s intentions. Put aside the troublemakers and those who have become professionals in creating obstacles to construction. Put aside corruption and bribery which have become prevalent in the country. Unless the government revolts against itself, it will not solve the problem. It will continue orbiting the vicious circle. The suffering of the people will get worse as they remain at the mercy of greedy traders. Furthermore, the Kuwaitis will continue to hear nonsensical speech on the housing case.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

By: Ahmed Al-Jarallah

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