73% of citizens have no houses of their own

Updated 16 March 2014

73% of citizens have no houses of their own

Seventy-three percent of citizens do not have houses of their own, a Shoura Council member said on Wednesday.
Saudis have called on the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) to speed up the disbursement of loans in order to help them build homes before it becomes more expensive.
“It is very difficult to get loans from the REDF. Those who have applied for loans 20 years ago are only getting them now. Prices of real estate and building material are going up every day. So I request the REDF to expedite the issuance of loans to help citizens realize their dream of owning their own homes,” said Ezzuddin Hafiz, a Saudi teacher.
He said the REDF has increased the loan amount given to each deserving citizen from SR300,000 to SR500,000. “But this amount will not be enough now to build a house. They may require at least SR1 million,” he told Arab News. Saudi Arabia needs more than 98,000 new housing units.
Hafiz said it would be difficult for a government to provide housing for all its citizens. “People should work hard and make money to build their homes. They should not waste money by spending it on unnecessary things.”
The Shoura, meanwhile, blasted the Housing Ministry, saying it was very slow in carrying out its projects.
“The ministry has so far failed to meet the growing housing demand,” the consultative body said, adding that it was not convinced by the statistics given by the Ministry of Economy and Planning that 60 percent of Saudis own houses.

The council also urged the ministry to prepare lands for building houses and distribute them quickly among deserving citizens within a given timeframe. Seventy-three percent of citizens do not own a house, a Shoura Council member said on Wednesday while Saudis called on the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) to speed up disbursement of loans in order to help them build homes before it becomes more expensive.
“It is very difficult to get loans from REDF. Those who have applied for loans 20 years ago are now getting them. Prices of real estate and building materials are going up every day. So, I request REDF to expedite issuance of loans to help citizens realize their dream of having own homes,” said Ezzuddin Hafiz, a Saudi teacher.
He said REDF has increased the loan amount given to each deserving citizen from SR300,000 to SR500,000. “But this amount will not be enough now to build a house. They may require at least SR1 million,” he told Arab News. Saudi Arabia needs more than 98,000 new housing units.
Hafiz said it would be difficult for a government to provide housing for all its citizens. “People should work hard and make money to build their homes. They should not waste money by spending it on unnecessary things.”
The Shoura, meanwhile, blasted the Housing Ministry saying it was very slow in carrying out its projects. “The ministry has so far failed to meet the growing housing demand,” the consultative body said.
It added that it was not convinced by the statistics given by the Ministry of Economy and Planning that 60 percent of Saudis own houses.
The council also urged the ministry to prepare lands for building houses and distribute them quickly among the deserving citizens within a timeframe.


GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

Updated 22 min 18 sec ago

GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.