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Discussion about Low Cost Housing - sec. 1
Subject: Housing problems
From: Nagla Mahmoud
Hello dear friend
we have a real problem, young couples has no way to finance a new house, this makes
having a family a faraway hope, causing many social diseases, like adultery or (zawag 3orfi), and deep depression
that may yield self-destructive behavior like drugs, or social destructive behavior like violence.
We all know the importance of this problem, where is the youth going to live?
This is what we want to find a solution for?
Is it hard? Yes it is , but not Impossible
As architects and planners, we may have some proposals, and as educated Egyptians we may have more, now lets think
What can we do?
How can we find a way to build affordable houses?
Do we need new types of houses?
Is there a new technology that can help?
Who will finance them?
Is it the responsibility of the government, or the market economy?
Do we need to change laws of building?
There is a lot of questions, may be asking the right question is half the way to find the solution,
Do you have more questions?
Or do you have an answer or a suggestion?
Try to share us and begin our discussion.
Please post your contributions to your friends here on
Egypt Architecture Online [EgyptArch]
Subject: Re: Housing problems
From: Abbas Zafarany
Burying heads in the sand is a major problem of our thinking.
Yes we have a real problem, young couples has no way to finance a new house with the typical standards, and instead
of trying to supply a house for them using their actual financial capabilities, government assumes a very high
standard that they cannot afford, and try to find money to cover it, and they usually fail to find enough money
to solve the problem of all of them!
It should be understood that a typical newly married or engaged couple will have no prior savings, even if they
do work and have an acceptable income. For example a couple of high or medium education, who can gain 300-500 LE.,
monthly, can spend about 100 pounds monthly for a house, is there a way now
to have a house within this range of rent?
Yes, and No!
Yes, they can find a house in any chaotic slum, a room or 2 with almost no infrastructure or healthy environment,
even worse, with a horrible social environment, living among (nashaleen and toggar el sanf el sarree7ah!)
Is this a house? For most educated people NO, this is not a house, mainly because of the social level of the surrounding
So if they find a small -or even tiny- house in a socially acceptable place they will be happy to live in, I'm
talking about real examples of life, not a theoretical Utopia.
Many engaged couples would accept a single room or a studio house that enables them to get married within their
current financial abilities, with the hope to change it for a better one when their needs for house space grow,
and their financial capabilities grow too.
That is the key, we should provide houses that cost 100 LE/ month, as economical rent, that gives the owner of
the house a profit, and gives the needs, and more important, to give them the feeling of being human and respectable.
This seems to be impossible, but it is not, if we faced it right. Economically speaking, the profit on investment
in a field like housing should be in the range of 5 - 6% revenue (this is less than bank interest but the value
of the building grows with the inflation, so this compensates the difference).
100 LE/M = 1200 LE/year the value of the house should coast the builder about 20~24 thousand pounds, current cost
for middle quality construction is 500 LE/m2, that means we are talking about an apartment of around 40~48 m2,
with a net area of 36~40 m2
Could a house of that area be comfortable? For a family of 2 newly married couple, with a child or two in preschool
age it is more than enough! If designed and furnished in a proper way, it might be a heaven on earth. Most countries
of the world have such areas for the middle class; in Japan a 40m2 square house is a luxury! I know a professor
in Tokyo University who lived with his wife in a 36m2 duplex, and he was envied by his colleagues for his big house!
No kidding, that is true.
Many of my friends practically started their lives in a small house and
Changed it latter to a bigger one, but most of them preferred a small house in a good social environment, some
of them have invented good creative solutions to handle the space and cost problems.
In this group, some of the members are personal friends whom I discussed this problem with for years; actually
Ayman el sherbeeny is a master in handling small spaces, and he has his own theories about that, I think he might
give us a brief about his analysis.
Sorry for the long post, please let me know your opinion, if you have an objection, an alternative, a modification
to the concept, or an addition to it, please post it to:
3abbas el Za3farany
Subject: Re: Housing problems/ Ya mosibty
From: oud kabreeet
mosibty, ana benty tetgawwez fi sha2ah Oodah we sallah? Leeh? Heya bayrah!
That is the problem pal, mothers in law!
I'm a student in madany, and starting an engagement project, after passing the problems of hagr el 7abeeb we sahar
el layaly etc…, the real problems starts!
Parents are scared to give their daughter to a young man (3ayyel) with no experience or money, and they think that
asking for big demands for Mahr, shabka and house will guarantee them a dependable Man, so they demand things much
more than needed as a start.
And also the (manzarah syndrome) prevents people from accepting practical solutions like you suggested:
ana benty mesh 2a2al men bent 7'aletha 2elly metgawezah fi sha2a 9 owad we sallah!
Personally I would like to have a house like this, specially if it has no extra room for guests to sleep, da ye7oosh
balawy keteer, absatha 7amaty!
I think you will need a lot of effort to convince parents bel mawdoo3 dah, but the youth nafsohom ma 7aysadda2o,
specially if it was rented, and they can live in it for 5 or 6 years le7ad ma tofrag weykoon 3andohom forsah fi
sakan 2a7san. I think this might be better than masaken el shabab elly rabbena wa7doh ye3lam heya betetwazza3 ezay!
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(el shaheer be 3ood Kabreet)
Nagla for inviting me for this group, welaweny mesh me3mary but I thik I’ll like it here.
Kalam kebeer 2awy!!
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For several millenniums, Egyptians have lead the Architecture of the whole world, this bright
history actually puts a load on our shoulders as contemporary Egyptian Architects and planners, if we really want
to be proud of our ancestors, we have to do a positive step to regain the lead, or at least stop being lagging
behind the whole world!
For more than two centuries now, we have been just importing Architectural ideas and technologies
from the west (as we have been doing in all aspects of our life), and for no more than 50 years we began to explore
our Architectural heritage to find a new source to learn. The step forward, which should be taken now, is to digest
all resources of knowledge, and to introduce to the world a new Contemporary Egyptian Architecture:
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