SAR4bn contracts signed to build 40,000 homes

The Ministry of Housing signed contracts worth SR4 billion on Sunday to develop eight residential districts in different parts of the Kingdom to build around 40,000 homes.
Housing Minister Shuwaish Al-Duwaihi said 26 million square meters of plots would be developed in Jeddah (1/2), Madinah, Dammam (North and South), Al-Ahsa, Qatif, Tabuk and Al-Kharj under the project which will house 250,000 people.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has instructed the ministry to develop new residential areas across the country and provide loans to citizens to build homes. The king had earlier allocated SR250 billion to construct 500,000 low-cost homes to solve the country’s pressing housing problem caused by its fast growing population. The new projects would be ready within 24 months.
“We’ll sign more contracts in the coming months to build homes in Asir, Najran, Baha, Makkah, Riyadh, Qassim, Hail, Al-Jouf, Northern Border Region and Tabuk,” said Al-Duwaihi.
All new housing districts would be provided with advanced infrastructure facilities including water, electricity and sewage systems in addition to schools, mosques and health centers.
“Citizens will be given land and loans to build homes either by themselves or with the help of real estate developers,” Al-Duwaihi said. The fees to be charged for the land will depend on the cost for developing it, he added.
Asked about the reasons for the delay of some past projects, the minister said: “We have received over five new housing projects from contractors. If any contractor delays the work we’ll hand it over to another.”
Al-Duwaihi said the ministry would soon announce the details of those who deserve new housing lands and loans. “We’ll encourage construction of homes in vacant lands,” he said when asked whether the ministry had plans to confiscate such lands. He disclosed plans to implement 60 new housing projects.