Economy, Domestic Economy

Mehr Project Budget to Double

Mehr Project Budget  to Double
Mehr Project Budget  to Double

Funding for the improvement of infrastructure in the remaining phases of the Mehr housing project is set to be doubled next year (starting March 21, 2015), Amir Amini, the deputy minister of roads and urban development told MNA yesterday.

“The government has earmarked 6 trillion rials ($184 million) to complete a large number of unfinished Mehr housing units in the current year, and we expect the amount to increase twofold for the next year,” Amini said.

The controversial Mehr housing scheme, launched during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, lacks the required urban infrastructure, utilities and services, according to the deputy minister of roads and urban development.

The official also pointed to the government’s decision about allocating banking loans and subsidies to the Mehr housing scheme and asserted that next year, a total of 47 trillion rials ($1.7 billion) will be allocated for affordable housing and other projects of the housing sector. “The government plans to continue with its previous policy regarding the housing market,” Amini stated.

In 2007, former president Ahmadinejad offered free land and cheap credit to contractors in a bid to provide two million low-income Iranians with affordable housing units. But the national project slowed down due to lack of finances.

The Rouhani administration now blames the project for having added excess liquidity to the market and having pushed inflation as high as 40 percent by the summer of 2013.