Sunday, August 6, 2017

Abu Dhabi rolls out new affordable housing plan

Abu Dhabi City Municipality (ADM) has announced an initiative to aims to provide high-quality and affordable accommodations for low-income groups in the emirate.

It enables individual landlords, developers and investors to construct new buildings or convert their existing properties to residential units befitting the financial means of fixed-income earners, said a Wam news agency report.

The scheme aims to provide housing at rents ranging from Dh70 ($190.59) to Dh2,100 ($571.76) per month.

This will bridge the gap between supply and demand, offer property owners a return on investment of between 21 and 28 per cent a year, save about Dh4 million in total building costs, and reduce the construction period by as much as eight months, the report said.

The ADM held a workshop in this regard, which highlighted the initiative covering the investment opportunities on offer to property owners and developers of commercial buildings. It enables them to review and identify the means of generating revenues and ensure the optimal use of commercial buildings dedicated to fixed-income groups.

Attendees of the workshop included Musabbah Mubarak Al Murar, acting general manager of the ADM, several executive directors of the municipality, strategic partners including the Urban Planning Council, as well as developers and owners of real estate and investment companies.

"This initiative aims to provide proper and legal options of residential units befitting the financial means of low-income individuals and at the same time open an investment opportunity to owners of commercial properties in Abu Dhabi. The initiative is in line with the vision of the Abu Dhabi government aimed to provide all means of decent and stable living for all spectrums of the community. It will also offer support to fixed-income groups by ensuring them accommodation at affordable rents that is commensurate with their annual income levels," Al Murar said.

There are two targeted categories of occupants -- the first is the low-income segment earning a monthly income of Dh4,000 to Dh6,000 for whom the rent will range from Dh1,400 to Dh2,100 per month. The second category is bachelors with fixed incomes. For those earning a monthly income of Dh2,000 to Dh4,000, the rent will be Dh700 to Dh1,400 per month.

The municipality has set three eligibility conditions. The first criterion is planning. The building has to overlook the main road. It is permissible to convert all floors into residential units, except the ground floor. The second criterion is design. The minimum area must be 26 sq m for a studio, 40 sq m for a one-bedroom flat, 60 sq m for a two-bedroom flat, and 80 sq m for a three-bedroom flat.

The third criterion is operational standards. Priority will be given to those working in entities and commercial organisations within the same sector. Units cannot be rented to individuals directly, the report said.

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