Walid Abbas, assistant minister of housing for community affairs, revealed the most prominent features of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA)’s strategy for the new fiscal year to meet the needs of its customers, whether individuals or real estate investors.
Abbas noted that the NUCA is developing and implementing a large package of unprecedented projects in various activities.
In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Abbas said that the total value of the NUCA’s investments for fiscal year (FY) 2018/2019 amounts to EGP 85bn, which is the largest budget in its history. Its budget for the current fiscal year is EGP 32bn.
Abbas noted that the NUCA allocated a budget of EGP 54bn for the new FY for developing and connecting utilities to new cities, expanding existing cities, and replacing and renovating networks of utilities within some new cities.
Abbas pointed out that this plan includes the development of new cities such as Al-Fashn, Malawi, New Luxor, Toshka, and East Al Owainat, as well as the continuation of work in the cities of West Qena, West Assiut, New Alamein, and New Mansoura.
He noted that there are 40 new cities that are currently being constructed, which are divided into eight first-generation cities, nine second-generation cities, seven third-generation cities, and 16 fourth-generation cities.
He pointed out that the technical decision was made on the competing bids in the second phase of the government’s partnerships project, which was launched by the NUCA at the end of 2017. The financial decision is being studied for the current offers, and is expected to be completed with the announcement of the phase’s winning companies by the end of this month.
The authority will launch the third phase of the partnerships project early next month, according to Abbas.
He explained that the third phase of the partnerships project includes about 10 plots of land of different areas, starting from 100 feddans, with a total area of 10,000 feddans. They are in a number of new cities, and have not been offered to date, including in New Alamein, New Mansoura, New Minya, and New Aswan.
He added that the Housing Ministry, represented by the NUCA, will test demand from investors for these new cities in order to subsequently offer new lands using the same requirements, or amending them if needed.
He stressed that the partnership system is one of the most prominent mechanisms that are witnessing great demand from real estate investors to compete, especially with the advantages provided by the system of directing investments to implement a project. In addition, the government’s presence as a partner in the implementation of a project lends confidence to investors, while the system is able to accelerate development rates and achieve targeted urban development plans.
On the plan of the NUCA to offer lands to individuals during the new FY, he said that the authority intends to offer more than 80,000 plots of land during the new FY, compared to 192,000 plots of land that were offered during the past three years.
He added that the increase of offered lands reflects the government’s intention to accelerate urban development plans and provide lands in various areas to meet the needs of all citizens, in addition to contributing to resolving the housing crisis.
“Some of these lands will be allocated for social housing projects, as well as plots of lands that will be allocated for deluxe housing and super deluxe housing. In addition, lands will be allocated for junior investors in a number of new cities, notably the cities of Obour, Shorouk, and 15th of May, as well as some cities in Upper Egypt, besides the allocation of 500 land plots for mixed-use projects,” Abbas said. “The ministry, represented by the NUCA, provides investment incentives to investors in some new cities that seek to bring in development and investments to these cities, especially in Upper Egypt, which include land allocation by direct order for developers after they submit studies on the land that they want.”
During the past FY, 29 investment plots of land were allocated and the ministerial approvals for these lands are currently being issued.
On the other hand, the ministry provides long installment periods to developers, with lower down-payments, in addition to selling a square metre at its market cost, and reducing the fees imposed on developers, in the case of stumbling implementation, to about half in order to attract developers to launch new projects in this vital and important area, according to Abbas.
He said that lands have been allocated for the establishment of international schools in the cities of Sohag, Assiut, and Qena. In addition, a plot of land was allocated for Dar Al Fouad Hospital to establish a medical centre in New Alamein city, as the government seeks to achieve integrated development in those cities and not only the implementation of tourist or residential cities.
Regarding the execution progress of Dar Misr Project for middle-income housing, Abbas said that 25,000 new units will be completed by the end of June 2019. In addition, 56,000 units have already been completed. The project comprises 250,000 housing units.
“The NUCA is working continuously to obtain the ministerial approvals for the various projects. Eighteen ministerial approvals were issued for various projects during January and February for a total area exceeding 2,375 feddans in eight new cities. In addition, strategic plans were completed for several cities; Beni Suef extension on 15,500 feddans and New Akhmim extension on an area of 1,500 feddans, in addition to the development of a master plan for New Sixth of October city on 78,000 feddans, as well as an extension of 10th of Ramadan city on an area of 9,200 feddans,” Abbas noted.
He announced that the NUCA is planning to offer its units in the New Administrative Capital next month, while it currently remains in the pricing stage.
He noted that the NUCA succeeded during the past year in providing and planning land for real estate investors with a total area of about 11,000 feddans for the establishment of new projects in new cities through all the available offering systems (partnership system between the NUCA and the investor, free price system, and closed bidding system).
Furthermore, the NUCA is developing about 32,500 plots of land for social housing projects on a total area of about 1,935 feddans, and about 23,621 plots of land for deluxe housing, on a total area exceeding 3,000 feddans. In addition, 9,615 plots of land are allocated for super deluxe housing on a total area of 1,835 feddans in cities with high demand and 6,000 plots of land with a total area of approximately 2,000 feddans for Egyptian expatriates.