Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi vowed on Monday to end the problem of informal housing in Egypt within two years.
During a speech that took place at the inauguration of a housing project in Moqattam, President Sisi said that one of the aims of the Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) fund, which was founded as an account to accept donations from the public, is tackling national projects such as ending the issue of informal housing.
Preisdent Sisi added that if forced to make personal sacrifices for the sake of the Egyptian people, then he will do so. The Egyptian President, in many of his speeches, refers to making personal sacrifices. As an example of such a personal sacrifice, President Sisi said in 2013 that he would be donating half of his salary, which is just under EGP 42,000 a month, to the Tahya Masr donation pool.
The project in Moqattam promises 16,000 housing units for disadvantaged citizens.
During the same speech, Egyptian President Sisi thanked civil society organizations for working to alleviate the pain and suffering of Egyptians.
The exact number of housing units that will be built for disadvantaged citizens remains unclear. A large social housing program launched in 2014 promised to build one million units over a period of five years.
Meanwhile, in a recent speech, Egypt’s Minister of Housing said that 32 state-led development projects will achieve the building of 656,000 new affordable housing units at a total cost of EGP 97 billion.
Since the Ministry of Housing began the informal housing project two years ago some 125,000 social housing units have been built, the official MENA news agency quoted Madboly as saying.
According to recent government statements, almost 850,000 people live in ‘slum areas’ across Egypt. More than EGP 14 billion will be dedicated to developing these areas and providing adequate housing.
Egypt has long been struggling with housing issues, particularly the spike in informal settlements. According to estimates by economist and urban planner David Sims, as much as two-thirds of Cairo’s inhabitants live in informal settlements that have sprung up since the 1950s.
Many of these settlements are unsafe and some have collapsed, such as the 2008 incident in Mansheyet Nasser, where as many as 50 homes collapsed due to a rock-slide, killing 115 residents.
The 2014 constitution stipulates the right of every citizen to adequate housing and commits the state to solving the problem of slums and informal housing through proper planning and providing infrastructure to meet the people’s needs.