18 April 2013
To speed up the construction of 500,000 new homes for citizens promised in 2011, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has ordered a shake-up of the usual land-granting procedures and has told ministries to work together.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that a royal order this week has instructed the ministry of municipal and rural affairs immediately to hand over lands to the ministry of housing, which in turn was told to build the necessary infrastructure for housing.
This land will then be distributed to citizens, based on eligibility. Citizens can build homes on this land with loans granted by the housing ministry.
Meanwhile the ministry of finance was ordered to approve funds for the infrastructure construction, while other ministries and departments were told to give the housing ministry the data it needed to decide citizens’ eligibility for the land and loans.
King Abdullah announced in 2011 a 250 billion riyal ($66.6bn) scheme to build 500,000 housing units over several years to help address a housing shortage among lower-income Saudis.
It was part of $93bn in government handouts ordered following the outbreak of the Arab Spring.