Five-year wait for new Bahrain homes
Manama, March 8, 2011
Waiting times for government homes in Bahrain will be slashed from up to 18 years to a maximum of just five years, a government minister has pledged.
Our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) reported yesterday that the Housing Ministry was overseeing a BD2 billion project to build 50,000 housing units across Bahrain over the next five years.
It is also slashing monthly instalments by 25 per cent, which will benefit 35,878 Bahraini families following the directives of His Majesty King Hamad.
In addition, housing loans will be raised from BD40,000 to BD60,000 to be paid in 30 years, instead of the current 25 years.
Around 65 per cent of the government housing projects will be built by the private sector under the new plan that will cut costs and ensure rapid development, said newly appointed Housing Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi.
He was speaking at a Press conference held at the ministry in Isa Town.
Dr Al Alawi said that the plan would help solve the housing problem without compromising the quality of the units.
'Private companies, both local and from the GCC, will be welcomed to carry out the projects and in return they will be given part of the land in exchange of their expenses,' he said.
'This will help solve the problem of lack of funding in the government and gives developers a chance to use the land for their own investment.'
Developers handling the project will follow the ministry's building criteria and designs, said the minister.
The move can help revive the economy in the country, following the recent unrest, he added.
'The developers will have the option of building their own villas or commercial buildings or any other investment project as a way to pay for their construction work,' said Dr Al Alawi.
'This will revive the market, which is currently using only 30per cent of its capacity.'
The first phase will start in three or four months, said the minister.
'If designs and criteria are complete and projects are awarded, we speculate the first phase of construction to start in four months time,' he said.
'We could be looking at completing 10,000 to 16,000 housing units per year in the next five years.'
The 50,000 units will include both villas and apartments based on the needs of the Bahraini families, said Dr Al Alawi.
'The ministry will conduct a survey covering 200 housing unit owners to find out if they were satisfied with the accommodation or not,' he said.
'Then we can tailor units based on what citizens really want, including enhancing the space.
'We are co-operating with all ministries concerned to ensure the units are complete in time with full services installed.'
Dr Al Alawi said that the new list of decisions would cover all applicants whose requests date back to 2009 and above.-TradeArabia News Service