Egypt govt backtracks on increased payments for low-income houses following protests

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Oct 2016

Hundreds protested Tuesday against a rise in payments required to buy flats in the project in the Suez Canal city of Port Said

The Egyptian government appears to have backtracked on down-payment price increases for flats at a social housing program in the Suez Canal city of Port Said following street protests on Tuesday.

Hundreds of youths demonstrated and blocked roads in the city on Tuesday to oppose recently imposed increases by the housing and development bank on in-advance payments for units at a housing project in the city.

The project is part of the government's program to provide housing units for youth and low-income citizens at reduced prices.

Protesters say they were outraged after receiving messages from the bank on their cell phones asking them to pay over LE 40,000 to receive their flats in the project, while their 2013 contracts required a LE10,000 down-payment to receive the units, with the rest paid in installments over 20 years.

But following the protests, Provincial Governor Adel Al-Ghadban said in a statement late on Tuesday that the governorate "abides by the 2013 contract."

"Applicants should pay LE10,000 in advance with the installments be paid to the bank pursuant to known banking rules," the statement said.

The governorate and the housing ministry agreed to extend the application for social housing one more week, it added.


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