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Dec 05 2012

Housing agency says UAE needs 100,000 affordable homes, Dubai needs 20,000 units immediately

Wednesday, Dec 05, 2012

Dubai: The UAE needs 100,000 affordable homes in the immediate future, of which Dubai requires 20,000 units, with demand in the emirate expected to reach 45,000 homes by 2022, said Mohammad Al Merri, assistant chief executive at the Mohammad Bin Rashid Housing Establishment.

About 50 per cent of Emiratis in Dubai are clients of the Establishment, which provides citizens with interest-free loans and land to build affordable houses, he said on the sidelines of the Mena Mortgage and Affordable Housing Congress on Wednesday.

The Establishment launched a new initiative to handle the increasing demand from Emiratis for affordable housing. It will outsource its housing loans to selected private banks who will handle the process of lending to the Establishment’s customers and collecting instalments, while the Establishment will act as the guarantor for the loans, he said.

The move will allow the Establishment to serve double the number of people on its budget of Dh1 billion and free up its time for strategy and planning, he said.

Incentive

It is also “in negotiations” with developers to provide affordable houses to its customers, he said, citing the huge unit volumes as incentive for the private sector to enter the affordable housing market that has low profit margins.

“We guarantee that all of the delivered units will be sold, there are more clients that units.”

To ease the long waiting-list of Emiratis in need of housing, the Establishment will also provide services such as temporary housing and subsidized rent in future, he said.

Nationals in the income bracket of Dh7,000 to Dh70,000 are eligible for interest-free loans of Dh750,000 over a period that depends on their income, he said.

About 60 per cent of the Establishment’s clients are in the lower middle bracket of Dh7,000 to Dh20,000 and about 25 per cent are below the Dh7,000, he said.

It served about 1,000 to 1,350 clients a year with loans and 1,169 clients with free housing, he said.

By Deena Kamel Yousef Staff Reporter

Gulf News 2012. All rights reserved.


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