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Government Housing Programs

Title of the Session

Government Housing Programs

Time and Venue

14 June 2015, Marriott Hotel Zamalek – 4:30 pm-6:00 pm


Many governments have a long history in providing subsidized housing units. Yet, the success of these programs is mixed. Subsidized public housing is often located in poor and unreachable areas for the target beneficiaries; also, in many cases the flats do not represent the needs of the poor since they are too big and too costly. Accordingly, subsidized units remain empty or even unfinished as target beneficiaries resort to the informal housing market. The session will explore the public housing program that has been implemented by the state over the last few decades, assess its ability to achieve its stated targets, and discuss potential reform and adjustment in the state policy and role towards insuring housing rights to all citizens.

The aim of the Panel is to discuss:

  • What is the rationale behind Government Housing Programs (GHP)? Is the proper role of the state a housing provider or enabler?
  • Which groups are targeted by GHP? Are subsidized programs well targeted? Who is left out?
  • Is mortgage finance for social housing the only path? What about micro-finance?
  • What can international experience tell us?
  • How is disability streamlined across programs?
  • Have the GHP reached the target groups? Are government housing projects poorly located? Must they rely on available State land? Is this a fatal flaw?
  • What are the key challenges to GHP and how can they be overcome? Should subsidized housing be aimed at the middle classes? Or should subsidies be only for the very poor and disadvantaged? How might this work for rental housing?


Eng. Salah Hassan, Head of the Executive Branch of the National Housing Project, Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities

Dr. Doaa Abouelmagd, Assistant Professor, Architecture Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University

Arch. Atef El Bassiony, Freelance Architect

Dr. Yousry Makar, Consultant


Dr. Ahmed Shalaby, Cairo University