Economy, Business And Markets

New Step in Social Housing Scheme

New Step in Social Housing Scheme New Step in Social Housing Scheme

After getting a fresh mandate, the Social Housing Scheme has launched another phase of its program to provide 25,000 low-cost housing units each year.

The scheme, which is considered a signature public housing plan of the Rouhani administration is now under the auspices of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare instead of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Planning, according to Donya-e-Eghtesad economic daily.

“The ministry has developed guidelines to render the scheme more practical,” Mohsen Sarkhou, a senior official in charge of the plan said Tuesday.

“The scheme will build 5,000 housing units by the end the fiscal year (March 20, 2016) which will be available to retirees and those under the umbrella of the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation,” he added.

The Ministry of Roads and Urban Development had earlier expressed concern about the insufficiency of funds to finish the scheme.    

Under the new terms, the Social Security Organization (SSO), an affiliate of the ministry, takes charge of the plan, according to the official.  The two ministries, namely roads and urban and Development plus cooperatives, labor and social welfare, along with their affiliated banks - Bank Maskan and Bank Refah- will finance the project.

The scheme was supposed to provide housing units for low-income households by also subsidizing rentals and home construction; however, the official noted that due to the shortage in government funds, the scheme now focuses only on building new homes.

The Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare has also requested Tehran Municipality to provide land for the project, in return for municipality’s 5 quadrillion rial ($166 billion) debts to the ministry.

This would provide the scheme with 25 hectares of land only in Tehran.

Sarkhou added that 3,100 residential units were delivered to households in the current year (started March 21) under another scheme to those under the auspices of the State Welfare Organization.

He noted that the Social Housing Scheme is capable of “providing housing to 750,000 households.”