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Housing issue faces new challenges as future of thousands could be ‘hit’

Financial deficit reaches 98.5 pct

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 26: After the crisis ignited by the spread of the coronavirus, decrease in revenue and the continuing decline in opportunities for disabled in general at the state level, housing issue is facing new challenges that may affect the future of thousands of citizens who are waiting for homes on pins and needles, and perhaps, housing projects may enter into a risky circle and witness delay if viable alternatives are not available, reports Al-Qabas daily.

Have housing projects entered the circle of danger with the continued growth of budget deficit and the repercussions of facing the coronavirus? Despite the warnings issued by politicians and experts in the housing field years ago about the decline and erosion of the Public Authority for Housing Welfare Fund, which amounts to 1.6 billion dinars, it has become necessary to think about finding sources of finance and alternatives to sustain housing projects and face future financial obligations, especially with government’s resort to reduce budgets of its agencies by 20 percent.

The important question is: Will Public Authority for Housing Welfare be able to present a new map for the mechanism of providing housing in a way that differs from the current typical situation? Will the sector be able to withstand and sustain its policy, provide government lands and homes for citizens, while providing services and other facilities for the neighborhoods in light of the financial deficit? Looking at the institution’s budget for the past financial years, we discover the financial deficit is large and heavy, reaching 98.5 percent, as revenues generated for fiscal year 2019- 2020 reach five million dinars, while expenditures amounted to 352 million dinars.

This confirms that revenues of the Public Authority for Housing Welfare in return for the proceeds from lands, home and apartment ownership installments, as well as loans provided to citizens, will not be able to withstand weak financial resources without looking at the estimated budget for housing projects during fiscal year 2019-2020, which amounted to 557 million dinars. It faces two problems: coronavirus and budget deficit, the consequences of which will be severe and worrisome for many affected citizens, in addition to the indicators of high construction material costs and lack of manpower.

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