KUWAIT CITY, April 11, (KUNA): Minister of State for Housing Affairs Yasser Abul said Sunday His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah made a historic decision when he instructed to liberate acquisition of state land for housing purposes. Similarly, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah attach great importance to the efforts meant to resolve the housing problem, Abul said. He made the comments in an interview with Al-Majlis TV channel “His Highness the Prime Minister follows up personally the observations of landlords in residential areas such as Sabah Al-Ahmad, Jaber Al-Ahmad, northwest Sulaibikhat regarding public utilities and maintenance services. “The requests for maintenance services received by the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) concern only 14 percent of the 4,452 houses delivered to citizens,” Abul said, noting that 90 percent of these requests were addressed timely and properly. He affirmed that PAHW is keen on the welfare of beneficiaries from all housing projects and adopts a policy of zero tolerance regarding any negligence or irregularities in the construction projects whoever the culprit might by.
Commenting on a video clip recently circulated via the social media regarding poor finishing of some houses, Abul said a technical probe panel, led by Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), was set up last month before the emergence of the video to investigate the matter. “The panel will soon produce a final report which will pinpoint those responsible for the shortcomings and pave the way for referring the case to the Public Prosecution which will, in turn, adopt the appropriate legal measures against the culprits whether inside the PAHW or the contractors,” he explained. The PAHW Board of Director had previously adopted deterrent measures against a contracting company, including the withdrawal of licenses for implementing construction projects and exclusion from future projects, for involvement in certain irregularities, he recalled.
On the construction of the infrastructure projects in the South Mutlaa City, Abul said the main contract for the development of these projects will be signed on April 24, noting that the city covers an area of 100 sq. km., and includes 30,000 plots of land, 12 neighborhoods and 2,400 housing units. “There are two other contracts that will be inked later on, one relates to the construction of subsidiary infrastructure for 18,000 housing units and another relating to 12,000 units,” he went on. He ruled out the possibility of the current financial situation of the state impacting negatively on the development of the South Mutlaa City and the other PAHW projects that aim to provide a total of 60,000 units in the coming five years.
He noted that the cabinet was able to address the obstacles facing the implementation of South Saad Al-Abdullah project which is going on as planned. The PAHW and the Kuwait Credit Bank formed a joint committee to facilitate offering soft housing loans of KD 70,000 for Kuwaiti widows who have non-Kuwaiti children, he noted, adding that the government and the National Assembly work together for solving the housing problem.