DUBAI, UAE, August 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
In recent months Saudi Arabia has announced an abundance of social housing development plans aligned with the growing population needs. Saudi's famous 5 year plan sets the current target at one million housing units but even this will only meet 80 per cent of projected demand.
In a recent interview with the International Quality and Productivity Centre, Farrukh Iqbal, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Region for the World Bank commented that "social housing needs are growing in Saudi Arabia and the demand is being driven by demographic and economic developments."
When asked his thoughts on the major challenges in designing and developing affordable housing to meet population demand, Mr Iqbal postulated that "while the public sector will continue to have a large part to play, the major challenge is to attract more private sector involvement in the financing and building of the required social housing. Private financing arrangements should be facilitated by the new mortgage law that is at an advanced stage of discussion prior to full enactment. On the building side, further thought may have to be given to modifying building codes and density regulations to accommodate further social housing developments.'
Although the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Housing pledged to allocate additional funding of US $67 billion to construct residential housing, on top of previous funding already committed through the 2011 budget, there still seems to be a lot of confusion in this market over what financial frameworks will be implemented to support the necessary housing developments. Mr Iqbal further commented "because the housing is intended to be 'social' and thus affordable to modest means, there will have to be some public sector involvement to provide policies, regulations, infrastructure and incentives that would induce the private sector to make the necessary level of private investment."
As the social housing sector is still very much in it's infancy when looking at projected development demands, these issues are critical to the industry's future success. Exploring the successful development of social housing when providing robust real estate finance frameworks is just one of the key challenges that will be addressed at IQPC's upcoming Social Housing Development Summit Saudi Arabia, being held at the Radisson BLU Hotel in Riyadh from 9 - 12 October 2011, where Farrukh Iqbal will be delivering a keynote presentation.
At the summit he will address housing finance and its role in the Saudi Arabian Economy, alongside other industry leaders from United Nations, Saudi Mubadara, the Saudi Council of Engineers and other key stakeholders in this rapidly expanding market. Social Housing Development sponsors include ISO Air, Trowers and Hamlins and Bafakih and Nassief.
SOURCE IQPC Middle East