Iraq's major cities battle housing shortage, Baghdad worst hit with 31% deficit

Iraq's major cities battle housing shortage, Baghdad worst hit with 31% deficit

Shafaq News/ Iraq is grappling with a major housing crisis , with a new report showing the capital Baghdad suffering the most at 31% deficit in housing units compared to its population.

Nineveh and Basra followed closely behind at 28% and 10% shortfalls, respectively, according to the Iraqi Strategic Center for Human Rights. The report, released on Tuesday, said the country has a nationwide housing shortage of 26%, impacting over 26 million Iraqis.

Fadhel Al-Gharawi, head of the center, noted that reliance on rented accommodation or informal housing units affects more than a quarter of the country's 45 million population.

Al-Gharawi said the projected rise in demand for housing units in urban areas by 3% annually until 2030. This translates to a requirement for an additional four million units by 2027, Accor to him.

Al-Gharawi urged the Iraqi government to launch a "national housing initiative" that encompasses distributing residential plots across the country, offering zero-interest housing loans, and constructing new housing complexes.

Iraq's housing market ballooned by 5.6%, or $20 billion, credited largely to the revival of the $10 billion Rashid City housing project in Baghdad by the National Investment Commission.

The country also announced seven additional housing projects valued at $12.5 billion, with the biggest ones planned for Najaf and Wasit governorates at $5.5 billion and $4 billion, respectively.

Iraq faces a critical housing shortage due to its population boom and the financial constraints of low-income citizens struggling with high land and construction material costs. The Ministry of Construction and Housing estimates Iraq needs more than three million housing units to bridge the gap.

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