World Bank agrees $500m loan for Egypt social housing scheme

6 May 15

The World Bank has approved as $500m loan to help Egypt fund a social housing project that is intended to provide one million houses and secure residences for low-income families over the next five years.

The Inclusive Housing Finance Program will improve access to homeownership or rented homes and is expected help 3.6 million people, including an estimated 1.6 million who live below the poverty line.

Under the plan, incentives will be introduced for private rental investors to rent out their units to low-income tenants. Financial support to low-income households will also be extended to enable them to access housing finance such as mortgages and to help improve usage of vacant and unfinished units.

It is also expected that around 1.5 million temporary construction jobs will be created over the lifespan of the project.

The funding deal is also intended to help the country’s Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development boost transparency and accountability by establishing monitoring and evaluation systems, an internal audit unit and a grievance redress mechanism.

‘The project will foster economic inclusion and sustainable growth through promoting access to adequate housing for the bottom 20% of Egypt’s population,’ said Poonam Gupta, the World Bank’s acting country director for Egypt. ‘Moreover, it will contribute to increasing private sector participation in the low-income formal housing market in Egypt.’

With a housing backlog of up to three million units, Egypt needs approximately 300,000 new units per year to house newly formed households, plus an additional 254,000 units to gradually deal with the backlog over the past five years, the bank said.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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