By Mazen Aziz
A continuation on my studying of the Egyptian settlement pattern for my thesis project…
The Egyptian Ministry of Finance has allowed about 1 billion LE (180 million dollars) yearly towards new urban projects. However, last year, the total cost of the new urban projects in Cairo itself is about 4.4 billion. The government doesn’t even support half that, so the government will try to go as cheap as possible to afford the maximum number of housing in the budget.
In the 1950’s, Manshiet Nasser started to form and people started to settle there informally with no regulations or planning. The area has a great view, the Autostrada highway on the west (main highway in Cairo), Cairo Citadel in the west south as shown in the picture above, Mokattam on the east, new Cairo and Mokawloon Al Arab club in the north. During to the current economy crisis or residence not able to afford, almost 4.58 million urban housing units are empty, unused or closed. Cairo has a renting law since 1996 to freed the rental market for newly built and then vacant the units as the cities Alliance article mentioned. The urban sector has been growing gradually in Egypt with interesting curve by annual average of 2.8 percent or 263,839 units. Of those yearly new units, average of 55.6 percent are formal and 45.4 percent are informal. However, government cheap housing is located in the new towns or in remote dessert areas far away from the city, making the residence struggle mainly with transportation if its even allowed. Moreover, the formal private sector aiming the upper income Egyptians located on the new towns closer to the city.