Life in Iran TodayThe Incurable Housing Crisis in Iran

The Incurable Housing Crisis in Iran

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After Ebrahim Raisi took office last year as the Iranian regime’s President, he promised to build one million houses in Iran annually to keep up with demand. He previously claimed, during a visit to Qazvin, that, “It is necessary to build one million housing annually and this is not just a slogan.”

However, after nine months it has become clear that like all the regime’s promises, this was fake too. This comes at a time when the prices of rental properties are increasing, compared to previous years.

In an article on May 1, the state-run daily Jahan-e Sanat wrote, “In April 2022, the average purchase and sale price of one square meter of residential unit infrastructure in Tehran was more than 34 million Tomans, which is an increase of 16.9% compared to the same month last year. The rental housing rent index in Tehran and all urban areas in April 2022 shows a growth of 45.6 and 50.1 percent, respectively, compared to the same month last year.”

In a post on the Iranian parliament’s official website ICANA, which quoted MP Gholamreza Shariati, it is stated that most of the tenants and applicants for housing are the poorest in society, and they are required to pay between 40 and 50 million rials for the initial payment to get housing through the government, an amount which most of these people are unable to pay.

This scandalous failure of Raisi even raised the voices of the regime’s officials. On April 27, the state-run daily Bultan News wrote, “Not only has the government not taken action to address this concern and not properly exercise its role, responsibilities, and duties, but it has been and is a bystander as in the past. So, because of the increasing prices and inflation in this field, renting of rooms and storage has taken the place of housing. According to the developments in the housing market, the inflation of rent in Tehran, according to the latest report of the Central Bank, has reached 46% in March 2022 and 50% in the whole country.”

A spokesperson for the regime’s civil commission later stated, “Unfortunately, the field reports do not reflect good news about the housing rents, and while people are experiencing several percent increases in rents, the government has not put in place a plan to control the market this year.”

This means that the living conditions of the homeless population have worsened compared to previous years, and Raisi’s promises have shown themselves to be nothing but vain statements.

The government has been so reluctant to deliver on its promise that a plan has recently been proposed to outsource the construction of part of the housing to the so-called private sector, and the contract has been signed by Rostam Ghasemi, the director of a government agency.

The involvement of the private sector in the construction of housing means that the government and its private institutions, especially institutions such as the regime’s Housing Foundation and the Khatam al-Anbiya base of the Revolutionary Guards, will be involved.

These looting institutions have been involved in the bulk of housing construction for the past 16 years, and the current situation of skyrocketing housing and rental prices has been the result of their corrupt actions.

There is currently no private sector company, independent of the government, that can build mass housing. This is because institutions affiliated with Khamenei’s office and the government, such as banks, have stolen the housing market from the non-governmental private sector.

This regime lacks the desire and will to solve the housing problem but is content with destroying the homes of poor people in some parts of the country, like the recent incidents of demolition of suburban homes in Zabul and Zahedan on April 15, where municipal and police officers demolished people’s homes.

The following day, on April 16, municipal agents, in cooperation with security and military forces, also attacked the Shirabad area of ​​Zahedan, destroying several residential houses, without any warning.

In video clips posted on social media of the demolitions, a female citizen is seen shouting and crying, saying that she has spent millions of rials to buy and build on the land where her property stood, which was destroyed by the Road and Urban Development Administration in cooperation with the military.

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