Bahrain’s sustainable housing strides highlighted at UN Habitat Summit

Bahrain’s sustainable housing strides highlighted at UN Habitat Summit

Nairobi, June 6 (BNA): Housing and Urban Planning Minister Amna bint Ahmed Al Romaihi stressed Bahrain’s strides in achieving sustainability in the housing sector.

She highlighted the role of the ministry in spearheading programs in partnership with the private sector, citing the housing finance program, the government land rights development program, which aim to guarantee citizens immediate access to housing service without waiting periods.

Addressing the 2nd session of the UN-Habitat, being held on June 5-9 in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, Al Romaihi noted that the Government gives full priority to providing decent housing for citizens through innovative and optimal programmes and initiatives.

"These initiatives are based on extensive studies that take into account the challenges facing the housing sector", she said, citing mainly  demographic growth, rising number of applications and the need to optimize the budget allocated to the social housing sector.

She noted that the housing finance program, which raised the ceiling of the maximum and minimum financing value, attracted more than 7,000 applicants to benefit from financing within only 10 months.

"The ministry was able to meet 60% of those applications already, which is a record number, in light of the high number of housing applications in the Kingdom of Bahrain", she said.

Al-Romaihi shed light on the Government Land Development Rights Program, which aims to build thousands of housing units by real estate developers on state-owned land.

She said that the ministry has already completed the experimental phase of this scheme through the Al-Lawzi project, which includes 132 housing units, which will be marketed during the next few days to citizens.

She indicated that the ministry has drawn-up a long-term plan to expand the projects, based in residential cities, in addition to a number of regions in various governorates.

The minister highlighted Bahrain’s progress to implement the eleventh goal of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which stipulates "making cities and human settlements inclusive for all, safe, resilient and sustainable".

Bahrain has focused its efforts over the past years on developing five housing towns – Salman Town, Khalifa Town, East Hidd Town and East Sitra Town, in addition to Al Ramli housing scheme.

"These cities represent the main pillars for implementing the directive of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to provide 40,000 housing services for citizens, a directive whose completion was announced last year", she said.

The minister affirmed that the Kingdom of Bahrain is fully committed to implementing the 11th sustainable development goal through government plans and programs.

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