There are archaeological ruins in every ancient city such as Ba’albek, Tyre, Giza, Aswan, Cyprus, Athens and Persepolis, Iran. Soon we will have our ruins in the city of Al-Mutla’a, which will probably be the most expensive in the world.
The above paragraph was mentioned in an article published nearly two months ago about the fate of the houses in the new Al-Mutla’a city where construction has begun, and predicted that most of them will be incomplete concrete structures, and even if they are completed, electricity will not reach them until after several years. All these mistakes occurred due to the parliamentary pressure and every housing minister has caved in due to the pressure, which prompted a majority of them to distribute residential lands in any way regardless to what happens next.
Today, what we expected turned out to be correct, after several contracting companies terminated contracts with citizens in light of the unreasonable rise in prices of building materials, and demanded that construction be currently limited to a concrete structure especially with the lack of approval of the mortgage law and the scarcity of credit bank liquidity, in addition for other obstacles.
In a valuable study by former minister Adel Al-Sabeeh, he mentioned that the number of housing applications until May 2021 was 140,700 and there is an annual increase of about 8,000 applications.
He said the lands are available, but the state’s resources are unable to provide services for this number of requests, in addition to the annual increase, as it needs to spend 28 billion dinars, and the state’s annual income does not exceed 17 billion.
In order to solve the problem of existing applications, in addition to the requests that will accumulate over the next ten years, it is foolish to continue with the current system and there is need to think of new solutions, including imposing 3%, interest for example, on government credit bank loans, and on loans from financing and developer companies.
This will not increase the burden of the housing applicant who is currently being paid by the government, or is paying a monthly rent that exceeds the value of the 3% interest that he will bear, especially since the waiting period for acquiring a house will be greatly reduced.
This 3% interest will contribute to encourage several parties to enter into the line of housing provision, and reduce government burden, with the need to freeze the law which prevents companies (real estate developers and others) from owning residential areas of more than 5,000 square meters as this law restricted them and prevents them from effectively contributing to building homes at an affordable price and sell them to citizens with long-term financing and this can be facilitated by handing over residential lands at prices below market prices.
It is also necessary not to limit housing to horizontal construction and to think of model vertical housing projects with complete services and modern management, which are environmentally friendly and meet all safety requirements.
Finally, it is important to seek to reduce the land area for private housing, as the government had previously built houses for citizens in the sixties in Dasmah, Shamiya, and Keifan, and others with a land area not exceeding 200 square meters and many of them still remain.
Saudi Arabia also has good experience in building low-cost residential houses, and it should be considered.
By Ahmad alsarraf