Tuesday, 24 July 2012, 11:30 GMT
Government plan to allow low-income families to own houses
By The Kurdish Globe

No country can develop infrastructure and provide housing to its people without a suitable budget,

In the Kurdistan Region's 2012 budget, an amount of IQD 633 billion (more than USD 500 million) has been allocated for the construction of 5000 residential units for low income families and for those living in rented accommodation.

Moreover, the operational budget of the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing has increased by 81% and its investment budget has risen by 147% compared to the year 2008.

All these changes were approved by the Kurdish Parliament during its 37th session on June 24th 2012 as part of the Region's 2012 budget.

Although, on the last day of the discussions on the budget, all the majority and minority parliament members agreed on the bulk of articles and clauses in the draft budget and majority of the articles were approved with the votes of both sides, on the last day of the session when the whole project was approved, the opposition boycotted the session due to the failure to convince the parliament to establish a parliamentary committee to audit the revenues of the government. This became a beginning of a campaign against the budget by the opposition.

Reconstruction and housing sector

No country can develop infrastructure and provide housing to its people without a suitable budget, especially in a region where all the villages, roads are destroyed and housing problems exist. This is in addition to the continuous need for new roads, highways, bridges, tunnels and new residential projects. According to information available at the ministry of finance and economy, the budget allocated for housing projects for all the three provinces in the Region is IQD 633 billion, which will be used to construct 5000 residential units to help lower income families own their homes.

Total operational and investment budget of the Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing was IQD 310,553,000, which has increased to IQD 731,230,000.

According to statistics available at the Director General of Budget at the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing has constructed 9 bridges with a total length of 1,611 meters. The cost of these projects was USD 47 million.

Moreover, statistics from the Ministry of Construction and Housing show that 827 kilometers of single passageway roads with a total cost of USD 332 million were constructed and 294 kilometers of dual passageways with a total cost of USD 487 million were also constructed, while the total budget for all these projects was USD 820 million.

Additionally, the ministry has spent USD 9.5 million for designing the ministry's projects in all the three provinces of the region.
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The KRG has constructed 4,762 residential units with a total budget of more than IQD 192 billion (approximately USD 153.5 million) for the lower income families and those who live in rented houses.

Above all these, the ministry is currently implementing a project since 2011, which consists of 6,273 affordable residential units designed for lower income people, which will be sold to people on a long-term installment plan with zero down payments and at a price of USD 50 thousand and below.