Bahraini development board begins low-cost housing drive

08 October 2009

Bahrain is inviting the private sector to build 20,000 low-cost homes over the next 10 years as the kingdom tries to reduce the waiting time for affordable housing from 12 years to five

“One of the main new initiatives that we will be focusing on towards the end of this year and well into the next will be developing a model for private-public partnerships for the construction of low-cost housing,” says Economic Development Board (EDB) chairman crown prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa (see interview, page 28).

“There are 40,000 applications. If you factor in existing homes and people buying existing homes, a reasonable target for us to achieve in the next 10 years is somewhere in the region of 20,000 homes”

The EDB has launched the initiative, which will be implemented by the Public Works & Housing Ministry.

“The government will provide a social guaranteed fund to cover defaults,” says Sheikh Salman.

A request for proposals will be issued in October. The EDB plans to prequalify more than 56 companies, according to Kamal Ahmed, its chief operating officer.

In late September, the Municipalities & Agricultural Affairs Ministry received bids from local contractors for a deal to build 1,000 houses in Bahrain. Bahrain Pipeline Construction is the low bidder.

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