Kuwait Oil Company relinquishes land for housing

Rare submission from the gov’t controlled oil sector will make way for 43,000 homes, cutting in half the waiting list
Kuwait Oil Company relinquishes land for housing
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 28 May 2014 01:42 PM

State-run Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has relinquished nearly 70 million square metres of land to be used for housing, state media has reported, in what is a rare submission for the government-controlled oil and gas industry.

About 43,000 housing units are expected to be built on the land – enough to cut in half the country’s long waiting list for free public housing offered to citizens.

Minister of Communications and Municipal Affairs said in a statement on KUNA the land was located south of Saad Al Abdallah on the Sixth Ring Road motorway, which would provide easy access.

It also was close to utilities and services but the land would need to be rehabilitated before development could start.

Kuwait’s housing shortage has been exacerbated in recent years by an influx of foreigners, who make up two-thirds of the country’s population.

It was reported this week lawmakers are considering implementing a rental cap.

According to local media, it is illegal to increase rents within five years of a tenant moving in but many renters were unaware of the law and agree to pay increased prices.

Investors have complained that there is not enough land in Kuwait for development, with much of it reserved for potential oil and gas projects.

Oil and gas make up more than 90 percent of Kuwait’s gross domestic product and the country has been warned it needs to urgently diversify.

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