Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has rolled out over 51,000 new houses across the country as part of an affordable housing project that has faced criticism in recent years mainly because of its slow pace.
Rouhani’s website said in a Monday report that the government and developers had invested over 241 trillion rials (nearly $ 1 billion) on the construction of the homes which were scattered in several provinces across Iran.
The projects included homes handed over to low-income families under the Mehr Housing Scheme, a program which started more than a decade ago to provide housing to poor families living in large Iranian cities.
Nearing the end of its second term in office, Rouhani’s administration is facing criticism for its lack of involvement in construction schemes for major housing projects.
The president said on Monday that his government had mainly focused on financing mortgage schemes to help expand home ownership in Iran.
Rouhani also defended his government’s records in helping to provide proper homes to people in the countryside as he insisted that good support had been provided to rural housing projects as well as to reconstruction schemes in old towns over the past years.
During the inauguration ceremony on Monday, Iran’s Minister of Road and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami said that the country needs over 500,000 new houses per year to respond to a growing demand in the sector.
Eslami said the current administration had finished 1.36 million homes whose construction had started in the 2010s under the Mehr Housing Scheme.