Incentives needed for developers to create affordable housing

Government-backed incentives must be offered to developers to encourage them to build more affordable housing in the GCC.

The need for affordable housing is apparent, but an action plan has to be set out in order to encourage developers to jump on ship, according to a recent Gulf News article.

Public land targeted for development could be sold to affordable housing developers at a below-market price (in exchange for binding affordability commitments), or offered for government co-development, with the private partner as the co-developer in what is known as public-private partnerships.

When the affordable homes are complete, private developers could sell the finished units directly to suitable income-eligible homeowners, or to the government, which would then allocate the units to buyers or renters.

Governments could offer private developers who can access private undeveloped land financial and non-financial incentives to build middle-income housing (as partial or whole projects). Incentives could include easing and shortening government approval processes, relaxing planning regulations (particularly parking requirements), density bonuses, low-cost financing, and concessionary packages that reduce production-related costs, including materials and infrastructure.

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