Egypt wants to build one million new homes for its growing slum population

More than 500,000 people live in a network of tombs in Cairo, an area that is now called ‘City of the Dead‘ in the Egyptian capital, as Egypt struggle to build enough houses for its poorest. Others live amidst heaps of garbage in Zabbaleen. The country wants to build one million homes to address this.

The North African state’s 90 million population is projected to rise beyond 120 million by 2050 and this may send more Egyptians to the slums except more houses are developed to reduce the deficit.

“This is totally being implemented by the Egyptian government and the ministry of housing with a total investment that exceeds 150 billion Egyptian pounds ($19.16 billion),” Housing Minister Mustafa Madbouly told Reuters on the sidelines of the Egypt Mega Projects conference.

“We are making use of the projects we are offering to the private sector to finance and cross-subsidise the social housing programme,” he added.

Slums have over the years expanded in booming African cities as those living in rural areas move to urban centers in search of greener pastures. They are, however, unable to afford the high cost of housing in these cities, forcing them to settle for makeshift homes where they end up staying indefinitely. Today, informal settlements are present in most African cities as governments struggle to match development with population growth. The need for social housing on the continent has never been more pertinent.

Madbouly puts demand for housing at 500,000-600,000 a year and expects 70 percent of the planned homes to be aimed at the poor.