Bahrainis in 20-year wait for housing – report

Almost half of Bahrainis on list for social housing have been there since
Bahrain World Trade Centre, Bahrain economy, Bahrain skyline, Bahrain business
By Daniel Shane
Tue 05 Mar 2013 11:40 AM

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.

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