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Thursday, 4 August 2016

There’s a reason middle-income housing doesn’t exist — here’s how the government can fix it

The private sector, which represents approximately 95% of real estate investment in the country, caters to the top of the pyramid income, the affluent minority estimated to be not more than 10-15% of the total population. This relatively small demographic — where there continues to be demand — is what keeps us in business. We’re fully conscious of the irony that our projects offering multi-mn EGP properties can sell-out in a matter of days while on the other end of the spectrum there are people living in dismal conditions in the informal settlements known as the ashwa’iyyat.

And while no one knows exactly what to do about the ashwa’iyyat, there’s movement on this front: The problem is studied by academics, and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi recently launched an EGP 14 bn initiative to move citizens living in unsafe informal settlements out of the slums and into new apartments within the next three years.

So while there is now some headway being made in social housing, what remains overlooked is the housing of the bulk of Egyptian society: Not those who can afford to pay mns to live in gated communities. And not those waiting to be relocated from informal settlements to government housing. Where do middle-income Egyptians live? [ Tap here to read the rest of part three in the series. ]

** This is part three of a five-part series by SODIC, a leading real estate developer and proud sponsor of Enterprise. Here, SODIC shares its view on how business and government can work together to save Cairo — doing good for more than 20 mn people and making a reasonable profit at the same time. Subsequent instalments will appear each Thursday morning, exclusively in Enterprise.

** Did you miss parts one and two in this series? Read them today.
Part 1: Why is your day in Cairo so hard — and what can we do about it?
Part 2: Egypt’s real housing sector: Market-based informality

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