Egypt needs to build at least 600,000 new houses every year to tackle supply shortages due to a rapid population growth, the country’s Housing and Urban Communities Minister was quoted on Tuesday as saying. 

Asem Al-Gazzar said the private sector needs to play a greater role in housing projects to ease the burden on the public sector in the most populous Arab country. 

He told the Egyptian daily Al-Fajr that the government had invested more than 1.1 trillion Egyptian pounds on housing projects over the past 10 years. 

“The people in Egypt increase by around 2.5 million annually…this means we need to build at least 600,000 houses every year,” the Minister said. 

“This is a large number which requires the private sector to play a bigger role… we cannot continue the policy of subsidising the housing sector,” he added. 

Gazzar’s figures showed demand for housing has sharply grown over the past years due to a steady population growth, with the construction of 383,000 houses during 2005-2014 and 1.5 million units during 2014-2021. 

“Most of those houses were constructed by the Ministry…we need to expand the partnership with the private sector so it can play a bigger role in housing projects.” 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)