By John Lee.
The Iraqi Housing Fund has approved about 39,000 housing loans since it started operations in March 2005, and the rate of activity is accelerating.
The fund's general director, Burhanuddin al-Bassam, told Mawtani:
"In previous years we processed dozens of citizens' applications for loans every day, but now the numbers range between 700 and 800 applications and up to 2 billion dinars ($1.6 million) in loans every day."
The fund's deputy general director, Ali Hussein, added:
"We set our ambitions to provide citizens with 25,000 loans or more per year, to proactively participate in national efforts that aim to end the housing crisis.
"This year, we took part in financing 15 housing compounds, including two in the al-Ameriya and Tajiyyat areas of Baghdad comprising 2,000 housing units," Hussein said. "The rest of the compounds were scattered throughout most provinces, with the numbers of housing units in each ranging between 300 and 20,000 units."
Every year, the government uses as much as 200 billion dinars ($170 million) from the approximately trillion-dinar housing fund ($858 million) to cover the cost of loan applications and help citizens with limited income build their own housing units.
In order to enable applicants to meet the expenses associated with building their housing units, officials submitted a proposal to the government to increase loan amounts from 35 million dinars ($30,000) for Baghdad residents, and 30 million dinars ($25,800) for those living elsewhere, to 50 million dinars ($43,000).