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Iraq is in need 2.5 million housing units

By Nidhal al-Laithi


Azzaman, May 3, 2009


Iraq will need massive investments to solve a housing crisis that has seen property prices soaring recently, a senior government official said.


Sami al-Aarachi, head of the National Investment Commission, said alleviating the crisis would need the construction of 2.5 million new housing units.


Aarachi said the government wanted to lure property investors to the country.


“We are going to directly support (foreign) property investors. The government will offer the necessary financial guarantees of paying them back,” he said.


The official expected investments in billions of dollars. He said property developers were interested in the Iraqi market due to the guarantees the state was willing to offer.


The government is engaged in numerous housing projects but on a very limited scale.


The construction of 2.5 million housing units would need huge investments which the government is not in a position to make available.


Aarachi said any new housing units built in the country would be sold to the public. Payments by the public will mostly be made through installments, he added.


However, he said, the state would guarantee paying the investors back in case of any financial crisis.

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