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‘No voice heard from Parliament’s Housing Committee’
KUWAIT CITY, July 12: Between the hammer of rents and the anvil of rising land prices, the Kuwaiti citizen who is looking for housing is stranded ‘in no man’s land’ until his housing crisis eases, either by obtaining government housing in new areas, or trying to obtain a housing loan to build a ‘lifetime’ house which has become almost impossible in light of banks stopping lending and financing activities. Despite the great efforts exerted by the concerned authorities to distribute plots in housing areas such as in Mutla’a which consists of 28,288 housing units, and the East Taima project, which included 509 units, and others, the solution to the housing problem in the country seems intractable, as the statistics issued by the Public Authority for Housing Welfare show the total number of outstanding applications is 91,794, of which 8,397 were received in 2020.
The housing project is preparing a number of projects, most notably in the South City project, which has 61,564 units, including 40,000 units in the south of Saad Al-Abdullah city, while the South Sabah Al-Ahmad project includes 20,380 units, and the East Sabah Al-Ahmad project includes 1,184 units. Despite all these statistics and numbers, there are obstacles to handing over sites, as well as handing over building permits to those wishing to build their houses in new cities, which make the dream of building a house obscure, since the Minister of State for Municipal Affairs and Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Shaya Al-Shaya had previously expected the delivery of the South project in August with the removal of the remaining obstacles, but this does not seem achievable.
In this context, Abu Muhammad, one of the citizens who is still waiting to receive a plot, says: “In the 1960s and 1970s, a citizen used to wait approximately four to six years after submitting his application in order to obtain a ready-made government house or a land of 400 square meters and the loan in the amount of 70,000 but today, the average waiting period has increased to more than 15 years, which is considered one of the most prominent points of the current housing problem.” He added the efforts made by the government are often wasted in light of the lack of coordination between government agencies, in addition to the fact that “we have not heard a voice from the Housing Committee in the National Assembly since his election late last year, as if there is no housing problem in the country.” By Abdel Nasser Al-Aslami Al-Seyassah, Arab Times Staff