Saudi Arabia has set up a ministry for housing, the kingdom's state news agency said, as the world's largest oil exporter seeks to address huge demand for new homes.
The Gulf nation is facing a massive housing problem due to rapid population growth and an inflow of expatriate workers coming to the kingdom.
A report by Banque Saudi Fransi last week said private and public developers need to build about 275,000 units a year through 2015 to meet the the country's demands for about 1.65 million new homes.
Shwaish bin Saud al-Duwaihi al-Mutairi was appointed minister of housing, it said in a statement without giving further details.
Last week King Abdullah announced $93 billion in social handouts which included SR250 billion ($66.7 billion) to be spent on 500,000 new homes.
The move was part of the ruler's efforts to stave off a wave of Arab unrest that has gripped neigbouring Bahrain, Yemen and Oman.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy where political parties are banned and there is no elected parliament.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.