Iraq has a massive housing shortage of three million units due to neglect of urban development over the past four decades, financial advisor to the Iraqi government said.

Mudher Muhammad Saleh told Zawya Projects that the neglect of development manifested in fewer new cities and towns and related infrastructure getting built over the years.

He said housing supply and infrastructure is unable to keep up with demand from a growing population, which is putting stress on existing urban communities, roads, water, and electricity networks.

He pointed out that the supply deficit of new housing units and the deterioration in the condition of old units has led to overcrowding and soaring real estate prices and high rents in urban areas well-served by infrastructure.

Saleh said the best solution to the housing and infrastructure deficit is the government’s ongoing programme of providing subsidised land to develop affordable residential communities with infrastructure by the state itself or in partnership with the private sector.

(Writing by Majda Muhsen; Editing by Anoop Menon)