2,500 houses allocated for Bahrainis
Manama, December 27, 2011
More than 2,500 houses worth BD85 million ($225 million), some of which have already been completed and others which are to be built, were yesterday (December 26) distributed to Bahraini families.
The allocation of the units was held during a ceremony under the patronage of and attended by His Majesty King Hamad's Personal Representative Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa.
Of these, 314 are in Jidhafs, 376 in Malkiya, 601 in North East Muharraq, 107 in Arad, 67 in Qalat Al Bahrain, 126 in Burhama, 61 in Jaw, 35 in Jasra, 47 in Askar, 72 in Budaiya, 116 in Al Dair and Samaheej, 200 in Busaiteen, 200 in Zallaq, 207 in Muharraq and some in Bouri.
The move came following directives from His Majesty King Hamad to help Bahrainis and to work towards their betterment, said Housing Minister Bassim Al Hamer. "This also marks Bahrain's 40th National Day celebrations,” he said.
He added the leadership is determined to give the utmost attention to the housing needs of the people. “The implementation of the government's policies is in line with fulfilling the people's needs."
The minister also announced the names of 530 beneficiaries, who would collectively be given loans totalling BD6.5 million.
It is understood Bahrainis who apply for housing can receive the loans or wait until a government house is allocated.
Al Hamer said the houses allocated at the ceremony were on the "oldest applicant first" basis.
It follows an implementation plan approved by the Cabinet as well as the Economic Development Board, which is expected to hand over 25,000 units until 2017.
"The ministry will begin calling the applicants for the necessary paperwork in the next few days," said the minister. "This would take care of over half the applicants on the current waiting list."
Al Hamer revealed the private sector would actively co-operate in the process and develop housing units at affordable rates.
"We would, on the other hand, continue to expand our scope and offer more and more houses. There would be a plan on how many units we would provide on an annual basis as well as list out the financing and other options."
He said the ministry was committed to reducing applicants' waiting times to not more than five years and to broaden the beneficiaries' base. "Financial aid from the GCC states would also be used to implement the time table."
Al Hamar said the ministry has adopted a new method of distributing housing units by communicating with the beneficiary to inform them about progress of the projects, stressing that some housing projects are in their final stage, while others are 60 per cent complete.
He outlined the ministry's plan for 2012 pointing out that 91 plots of land will be allotted in Al Dair and Samaheej, 500 in eastern Hidd, and between 600 and 800 in east Sitra.
"We are currently working on an initial scheme for Dar Kulaib housing project," he said, adding that 400 plots will be allocated in the northern city in the first quarter of 2012.
Al Hamar expected the housing projects for 2012 to cover all governorates with 10,000 housing units to be built at an estimated cost of BD300 million. – TradeArabia News Service