In 2014, when Egypt launched plans to construct 250,000 housing units at the cost of LE63 billion, 14 million Egyptians were living in slum areas. Of these, says Housing Minister Assem Al-Gazzar, 1.7 million lived in unsafe areas and 12 million in unplanned areas.
If the state hadn’t intervened, adds Al-Gazzar, “the number of residents of unsafe and unplanned areas would have reached three million and 15 million respectively.”
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Al-Gazzar said 210,000 of the planned 250,000 units had now been built.
“This year will see the completion of the development of unsafe areas and the relocation of residents to alternative housing units,” said Al-Gazzar.
In press statements issued the same day, Al-Gazzar’s deputy said the remaining 40,000 housing units would be delivered by the end of the year.
During the inauguration, President Al-Sisi called on the relevant authorities to cooperate to provide essential utilities and create job opportunities in the new neighbourhoods.
The housing projects inaugurated on Saturday include Rawdet October, which will rehouse residents of Nazlet Al-Semman, an unsafe area adjunct to the Giza Plateau, which is home to 4,000 people, or 829 families.
The first phase of the project comprises 2,500 three-room units built at the cost of LE1.5 billion.
According to head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority Ihab Al-Far, the second phase of the Ahalina (Our People) project, overseen by the authority, was also among the inaugurated units.
Completed in just 18 months, Ahalina phase two comprises 1,400 units, 90 m2 each, in 34 residential blocs in Salam City east of Cairo. It extends over an area of 15 feddans, and costs LE1.1 billion.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 21 October, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly