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New Housing Scheme Gains Traction
Economy, Business And Markets

New Housing Scheme Gains Traction

The 'Social Housing' plan is in the final stages of approval as negotiations with banks for loans and provision of government subsidies are being concluded, Hamed Mazaherian, deputy minister of roads and urban development said on Sunday.
He referred to the government's Comprehensive Housing Plan of which Social Housing is a subcategory -- a scheme incorporating several programs to help provide low-income households and those covered by state charities like the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation and the State Welfare Organization of Iran, with affordable housing.  
Mazaherian said that some components of the scheme like the Social Housing Plan are "joint ventures" between his ministry and the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare.
The Social Housing plan was initiated by President Hassan Rouhani's administration to help the low-income strata own their own homes. It stipulates that annually 125,000 households, all belonging to the four lowest income deciles, should be added to one of the three schemes. The schemes include ownership, lower rents and rent subsidies. The first phase of the plan would see the construction of 45,000 new residential units.
All the proposed schemes for the housing sector in the Comprehensive    Housing plan fall into eight main categories namely, housing for low-income households, renovation and rehabilitation of dilapidated buildings and informal urban settlements, reforms in urban and regional planning, improving construction efficiency, expanding the financing system, rural housing, development of rental markets and urban housing.  
"Implementation of each of these eight programs has been assigned to one of the subsidiaries of the Ministry of Roads. Each of the organizations and subsidiaries in charge has been required to determine the priorities, prepare a roadmap for implementing the plans and set the relevant rules and regulations. A secretariat has also been established in this regard "Mazaherian added.
He pointed to lack of government subsidies for implementing the plan this year, saying that " For the present year the plan is set to be implemented by using financial resources and potentials of organizations in charge of protecting low-income households like Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, State Welfare Organization of Iran, Social Security Organization, Housing Foundation of Islamic Revolution and the Ministry of Roads with minimum recourse to government subsidies."  
He, however, urged the government to provide the much-needed subsidies and warned that without sufficient financial resources his ministry's plans for the housing sector would fail to produce the desired results.
"The Social Housing plan is not included in this year's government budget, but will surely be in the next year's budget and also in the next five-year economic development plan

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