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Affordable homes becoming reality

By Fahad Al Ghadani — MUSCAT: May 14 - Affordable housing is set to become reality, thanks to the recent announcement by the Supreme Council for Planning. Starting with Barka, the real estate companies and investors were invited to invest in the affordable housing project initiated by the government. The projects, which will come up in different areas across the Sultanate, is opening up opportunities for companies interested in investing in real estate. The government feels it’s a reflection of the private-public partnership. Private developers will take up real estate development, construction and sale.  Investors will have the right to construct and sell the properties later, and benefit from the project.

The project will provide houses for the targeted groups through a new concept which avoids the traditional concept of building and designing towns. The green light for building affordable homes in modern residential areas for nationals across all governorates was given by the government. The projects will be financed through mutual funds, private sector companies or joint partnerships between the government and private sector. The government initiative came after a study was conducted by Majlis Ash’shura on providing affordable homes to Omani citizens. 2014 statistics indicate 80 per cent of nationals had their own houses.

Mohammed al Balushi, a Muscat resident, welcomed the government move. “This will help Omani youths,” he said. “Those saving money will be able to buy new houses at a moderate price and avoid huge bank interest rates,” he added.

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