Ministry of Housing, Utilities & Urban Communities (Egypt)
|وزارة الاسكان والمرافق والمجتمعات العمرانية|
Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities (MOHUUC) is the Egyptian ministry responsible for the construction, and infrastructure of urban communities and utilities. Its headquarters are located in Cairo and Mostafa Madbouli has served as minister since 2014. This ministry works in affiliation with the New Urban Communities Authority.
On 19 of September 2015, The Ministry of Urban Communities was merged with the Ministry of Housing. The Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, as it is now called, was working in 2018, with the UN Habitat for creating strategies and solutions for Egypt's housing needs.
The role of the ministry
According to presidential decree No. 164/ 1996, some of the roles of the ministry include:
- Prepare plans for urban development
- Supervise towns and villages planning and housing projects proceed in accordance with the policies of the state
- Prepare building plans for public utilities, such as drinking water and sanitation, and oversee and follow-up throughout the design and implementation phases
- Prepare comprehensive regional building plans, prioritizing economic and social benefits to the Egyptian people
- Work in the development of new cities and villages
- Follow best practices, by staying up to date with the latest technical and applied research in the area of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development
- Develop designs required for the building of public housing, and propose public policy for housing maintenance
- Work with Arab country investors and other foreign investors
- Work in cooperation with other ministries, agencies and stakeholders
- Mostafa Madbouli, Minister as of 2014
- Eng. Ameen Abdel Monem, Deputy Minister
Housing in Egypt
It is a struggle for Egypt to keep up with housing needs due to its quickly increasing and existing population. For years, the state has taken it upon itself to provide housing for the poor but this has become unsustainable as it doesn't have the budget for this type of continued providence.pg 85
Method of selling land
When the ministry has land available for sale, investors apply for it and provide a deposit. A lottery is held and those investors who did not get a plot are refunded their deposits by the Housing & Development Bank. This method of land distribution can lead to speculation; investors believe they can make quick profits with resells. The repossession of land when projects are not completed is "rarely enforced" leading to empty lots and half-finished projects, as has been seen in 6th of October.
In 2016, the ministry reported a profit of EGP 22.2 bn, made by selling land and residential units.
Housing needs are addressed through foreign investors building in Egypt. In March 2015, 12.7 billion in contracts were in the works with Arab real estate developers constructing projects in New Cairo and 6th of October. Since March 2014, a multibillion-dollar housing project was being discussed with Arabtec, a Dubai-based contractor.
Housing needs are also addressed through loans. In 2015, the minister of housing said that part of the money from a $500 million loan to be received from the African Development Bank would go to social housing. In 2016, it was reported that the Informal Sector Development Fund and Cairo Governorate would cover the costs of upgrading three slums in Cairo. A grant from the German Society for International Cooperation was also to contribute to the costs.
Housing needs are also addressed through aid (grants) received from foreign governments. In a program that began on 28 August 2012 through 2018, the European Union earmarked 40 million Euros for the upgrading of the infrastructure of nine informal areas in and around Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia Governorates.
The demand for housing
The minister of housing, Mustafa Madbouly, explained that "Egypt needs to build 500,000-600,000 new homes a year to keep up with demand, 70 percent of which should be aimed at the poor." The situation has been so dire that for years some Egyptians have resorted to living (and working) near and in the cemeteries. One such place is The City of the Dead in Cairo.
The Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces is normally the authority tasked with building government-subsidized housing (Social Housing Program), as in the 6000 units that were built in Alexandria in 2016. Whether those efforts would work to make a real difference remained to be seen, with critics saying the poor wouldn't qualify for the units.
The system for providing mortgages to low and middle-income citizens expanded in 2017. 
President Anwar Al-Sadat began addressing the overcrowding in cities like Cairo by mandating the establishment of new complete cities. The first new city was 10th of Ramadan. The law (59/1979) initiated the building of new towns or cities but over the years some of these new areas failed to reach their target populations- with Egyptians, for a variety of reasons, choosing to remain living in the old, overcrowded cities.
The bureaucracy involved in getting official building permits, and passing inspections on building projects makes many average middle-class people want to avoid the whole process. Paying petty bribes allows people to get things done much quicker.
According to the minister, as of 2015 between 40 - 50% of homes in urban areas were informal, meaning not built up to code. There are about 1,300 such areas in Egypt and some 300 are extremely unsafe.
In early 2016, plans began for upgrading some of the slums in Cairo namely in Sayeda Zeinab, Mokattam, and Abdeen. A plan to upgrade these areas and to build a million affordable homes to alleviate the continuing lack of housing was one of Egypt president's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's promises. As he continued to deal with corruption in the country, he celebrated the phases to develop the slums, a project called Long Live Egypt with its own funding. The Tahya Masr fund for the Long Live Egypt project was created to encourage citizens to donate to public housing and in 2014 was managed by a board of trustees, which included Basil El-Baz, Naguib Sawiris, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, Mohamed al-Amin, Major General Mohamed Amin Ibrahim Nasr, and headed by Alaa Youssef. The first phases of Tahya Masr rehoused people living in slums, with 12,000 new units built.
In July, 2018 the Participatory Infrastructure Project (PIP) was signed with Germany to address the correction of 9 informal settlements in and around Cairo, with an investment of $29.5 million Euros.
- Housing and Building National Research Center
- El-Mokawloon El-Arab (company)
- New Urban Communities Authority
Utilities in Egypt
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