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Vertical housing ... feasible solution for Kuwaitis’ demand PAHW takes initiative on the matter

 KUWAIT CITY, May 24, (KUNA): The increasing demands for housing, which reached over 100,000 requests recently according to the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW), require a feasible solution that would enable citizens to have housing in a short period of time rather than the long wait. Working on a solution, PAHW is devising a mechanism that would decrease the wait period to less than 15 years.

A possible answer for the current predicament is vertical housing programs where people could be living in apartment instead of waiting for a house to be allocated to them. PAHWtook an initiative on the matter and started to construct vertical housing units in the northwest Sulaibikhat area and Jaber Al-Ahmad city. The vertical housing idea is not new to Kuwait; it was previously conducted during the 1980s with the construction of Al-Sawaber complex.

Head of Urban Development at PAHW Nasser Al-Khuraibit told KUNA that vertical housing units in northwest Sulaibikhat area consisted of seven-floor buildings with 350 and 400 square meters apartments. Government services would be fully available, said the official, noting that such housing projects would be provided with facilities such as mosques, schools, health center, and others. He indicated that PAHW will hopefully be handing the northwest Sulaibikhat and Jaber Al-Ahmad city projects by January 2015. He said that the projects would consist of 396 government housing units and 310 apartments.

Citizens, on their part, had their views in regards to the idea vertical housing. They mostly disliked the notion. Mahmoud Busheri said that the idea would not result in a solution for the housing problem in Kuwait, indicating that the problem was in the population cluster in specific areas and the high price of land.

Busheri said that the government should work on plans to solve the problem by allowing citizens to benefit financially from property they acquired which in turn might enable them to buy land to build their houses. The land ownership will eventually return to the government which could provide an alternative for citizens after a while.

On his part, Suleiman Al-Refaei said that he purchased an apartment not for the purpose of dwelling in it but rather as an investment that might help him buy a house in the future. He noted that Kuwait citizens were not used to the idea of vertical housing and said that lands should be used to construct housing projects that would meet citizens’ demands.

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