Real Estate Board Could Help End Housing Crisis

AKnews reports that Iraq's policy makers are working on a draft bill for the creation of a real estate board to make it easier for members of the public to build their own houses.

Abdul-Hussein Abtan, a member of the acting Economic Committee, said it hopes to allow the construction of thousands of residential units annually. He added that the bill will be handed to the presidency of the House of Representatives in late March.

Abtan criticized the government decision to use investments both as a way to construct residential communities and as the solution to the housing crisis.

He said the government should give loans ... so that the poor and those with low incomes can get a house.

The news follows the announcement from the Ministry of Construction and Housing on February 1 that is had halted its low-cost housing project due to a lack of land allocated and non-payment of the ministry's budget for the current year.

The ministry has demanded 1,300tr IQD ($1.1 billion) from the 2012 budget, which is yet to be ratified due to disputes. The ministry started its cheap housing project on January 5 after receiving 2,300bn IQD ($2 million) from the budget.

The ministry has indicated the need to construct 250,000 housing units annually, while the budget is sufficient for only 3,000 units.

Reports prepared by non-governmental organizations and international companies suggest it will take Iraq 20 years to overcome its housing crisis.

(Source: AKnews)

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