1,000 affordable homes for Omanis planned
November 29, 2017 | 8:45 PM
by A E JAMES/[email protected]

Muscat: Oman government plans to develop 1,000 apartments as part of a pilot project for affordable housing, which will be offered to young Omanis who have been waiting for a plot from the Ministry of Housing.

This is expected to partly solve the housing problem of the low- and middle-income groups.

A total of nine property developers have been shortlisted by the Supreme Council of Planning to build affordable housing units for those who have been waiting for a plot from the ministry.

The first affordable real estate project, which is the pilot project, is coming up in Barka (near Express Highway) on a large area of 350,000 square metres, which is expected to get a go-ahead early next year, Mohammed bin Salim Al Busaidi, chairman of Oman Real Estate Association (ORA), told journalists, on the sidelines of a function to sign an agreement between ORA and OmanExpo.

“The first project will be announced by early next year, and some projects will come up later as the government is working on other locations.”

“We have a waiting list of 500,000 people waiting for (housing) plots from the Ministry of Housing. Those who wait for land can either opt for affordable houses or land from the ministry,” said Al Busaidi.

“The housing units will have all facilities,” he added.

He affirmed that the government would provide the necessary land for affordable houses, and developers would make investments to complete the project. “The project is targeted at young Omanis waiting for land from the government (to build houses). The banks will provide a good payment scheme as well.”

Al Busaidi noted that various projects were coming up in different parts of the country.

“The nine companies that have been shortlisted include major property developers in Oman, and they have collaborations with international players as well. We have asked them to submit their proposals,” remarked the ORA chief.

Speaking to journalists, Hassan Juma Al Lawati, vice chairman of ORA, stated the Ministry of Housing was working on a new regulation for owners of apartments. “People are hoping that all issues related to the sale of apartments would be addressed properly,” stressed Al Lawati. Apartment owners have complained of problems while selling housing units.

Al Lawati also emphasised that several property developers had come up with projects having varying price range. “What motivates developers is the need in the market, regardless of what happens in the economy. There is a growing young population, who need housing units.”

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news