Almost half of all Bahrainis signed up to a government waiting list for state-provided housing in the unrest-hit Gulf state have been there for two decades, a senior official was quoted as saying.
The country’s Housing Ministry assistant under-secretary for housing policies and services told Gulf Daily News that there are currently 54,000 requests for government housing, 45 percent of which date back to when the waiting list was introduced in 1993.
"The ministry is following a strategic plan to cover old requests by this year in all governorates," Khalid Al Amer was quoted as saying. "It will firstly cover requests dating back to 1993, 1994 and 1995 then the three following years will be answered by next year."
Al Amer told the newspaper that around 6,000 housing units will be ready within the next six months, although the number of new requests for homes had risen from about 4,000 to 6,000 per year.
Bahrain’s government is currently building thousands of new houses, villas and apartments on the island in order to alleviate the housing shortage, the newspaper said.
The push to provide more social housing in Bahrain comes amid two-years of political unrest in the country of 1.2m or so, with the kingdom’s largely Shia Muslim population demonstrating against Sunni-dominated rule.