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Discussion about Low Cost Housing - sec. 2

Subject: Re: Housing problems/ Ya mosibty
From: Tarek Rashed

First.. thanks for nagla and 3abbas for their sweet words..
Second as for the housing issue......3oud is correct.. the idea you introduce ya Abbas is great and ideal, and ..but yet.. what about the social forces which lead the couples to seek a 150 or 180 m2 apart. instead of 60 or 80 m2. It is the same problem beyond the failure of Gornet's 7assan fat7ey in luxer in the 40s... he built an ideal village which is taught in many institutions all over the world,.... but yet, no body lived in it. the shape of the domes he chose was great for air circulation, but reminded the intended people with the cemeteries... and the separation between houses and animal courts was a brilliant design in so many aspects, but he forgot that farmers cannot sleep without having the animals home.... so we are again facing the same philosophical debate.. should I design to satisfy the people, or design to change them............. and the answer in my opinion is both... you design to satisfy the people, but the ultimate goal is to change them....so the question.. how can this be possible?
in the west for example, no body looks at studies or rented apartments as a permanent "home", instead they see them as just temporary accommodation, they change in average 7 or 8 places until they can economically support their "own" big house..... fi maser el ma7rousa.. that sounds like Alleys in the Wonder world.... because no body has this luxury.. and no one has such alternatives.. and this why most parents-in-law put the condition of large apartments.... because they see the apartment that el 3aires bygbha as the life-time one for their daughters (yes many of them know that he might get new one in the future, but something in the background says edieny 3omar lama ashofoh ma7wish taman el sha2a el tamliek
so what is the solution.... the answer is basically two-fold.. {{{policy and time}}}.............policy, because it was the cause beyond this crises that appeared in the 60s and was amplified in the 70s... and therefore it should be the means for the solutions, and time because unfortunately we in Egypt always have a short time vision... we need the solution now and immediately.. and we forget that what was corrupted for 3 decades, cannot be fixed in three years, especially if the corruption occurred on the social level and the principles and other main beliefs that govern the community what I see now is good steps towards the decentralization from Cairo, this tushka, sharak eltafri3a, Sinai and so on.. Which means that within a 10 or 20 years Cairo could be exporter for the population not importer if of course such projects are well studied and not only fkra teto2 fi dama3' el rayes ma3 ahwet el soba7 we kol a3da2 el 7akomma yahleloha.......... meanwhile... if the Government itself adopted housing projects for renting instead of owning as in the case of such projects as Mubarak housing .. and provided the loans for private sector to do so, such that apartments for rents vary in their sizes and of course in their rents that would be a start and in the same time offer flexible alternatives for young people... because some of them can afford paying 600 rent but cannot have the saving to pay 120,000 for the same size of the apartment in one shot, and hence the idea will be black & white (rent studio or buy an apartment) but instead you provide a wide variety.. starting from studios and ending by a 3 or 4 bed room apartment for rent &.if this work in all other countries,, why it would not be feasible in Egypt.
and again time and time.. so we start by a seed, and offer the alternative, and some people try it & others will not, but those who object it, will observe and by the time some of them accept it and so on&. (who are working in gulf countries and come every year to raise the owned prices in the summer will decrease by the time because they know that they can find the place they want and on the price they can offer, and there is no need to be in a hurry)... so it is the same time frame that we made the transition from renting to owning, so it needs time to make the other way is possible, and ultimately we will reach the equilibrium between the supply and the demand ..having in mind of course if the policy remained stable and doesn't change by the change of ministries&
yala... 7arou7 addiha mozakrra ba2a badel el falsfa elly mabt2kilshy 3iesh di....


Subject: Re: Rent houses/ Tarek Rashed
From: Abbas Zafarany

Hello your Imperial Majesty

I agree with you in every word you said, we must understand people needs and fulfill them, not assume it and go for our assumptions.
The housing problem has an economical/political history: when rented houses was most of the available housing (till the 60s as Tarek said) people used to be less aggressive in their demands because it was known that it is easy to find a bigger apartment when you have higher income, but after the changes that happened to the law, and fixed the rent rates, it became a wise choice to get a big flat at the moment with the rent of say 20 LE/M, so after ten years you will be paying the same small rent, but if you wait till you really need a big one after ten years, you will pay 100 LE/M.
That generated higher demand. Less revenue for owners made less supply, and the crisis began, having a house of any size became a problem, so people became more demanding for a lifetime house that may not be replaced in the future.

What I'm trying to say is that we must break this closed loop, may be just small houses is not enough for all, but it will break the loop by using available resources to build house for the current needs, to give a chance to the
market to balance on the long run, in the free market, available supply defines demand, if there is a supply of small rented houses, with acceptable promotion package, this may attract a lot of people who are facing the problem and stuck in a deadlock, and by taking these persons out of the demand box, the supply of bigger houses will be more likely to fulfill the needs of people who really need bigger houses at the moment, and able to pay for them.

You are right, a lot of people have the ability to pay 600LE/M for a house, but few can pay 120000 LE instantly as the price of the same house. Moreover, many small investors have these 120000, and don't know how to invest; the investor should buy or build a house, and rent it to that can pay no more than the rent. And that is the market economy. But there is still fear because of the long period of owners' pains; here the government should help by encouraging investors to supply houses for rent.

Again you are right; this might be on all levels of house sizes, but the one who needs governmental push, not just encouragement, is the small house, because most real demand is in this category, and this is the one that is easier to finance. I think our ideas are so similar, but you talked from a wider perspective, so may I widen my proposal using your words.
The Government itself should adopt housing projects for renting instead of owning as in the case of such projects as Mubarak housing, and encourage private sector to do so (by loans, Tax reduction, free or cost-price land...)
to supply apartments for rent, which vary in their sizes and of course in their rents to offer flexible alternatives for young people, focusing on studios and small houses as a start, and ending by a 3 or 4 bed room apartments for rent.

I think the government should work as a catalyst, more than working as a financer in the process of housing, and people should get what they can pay for, may be with small help to schedule the payment in the right time,
but not as a gift.
By the way, it is an honor to have a personal reply from you, the Great Emperor!

3abbas el za3farany


Discussion sec. 1



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  Editor's Note

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:


This will not be done by a single person, it needs the cooperation of hundreds of minds and hands, may be a whole generation of Architects and Intellectuals have to contribute to such a process till we find a solid product.

That's why this site has been created.

To provide a link and an Information source to everybody who wants to contribute, and to open a gate to publish ideas and discuss them with others. It is open for any contribution, any Architect who wants to publish his work: projects, articles, papers or thesis, is welcome. It's also open for any news, or announcements about conferences, seminars, competitions, expositions or new products.

We welcome anyone want to share us, or want to publish his work in the site, just send us an email to know the way of publishing your works, papers, articles, ...etc.