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China to build 10,000 residential apartments in Afghanistan

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: China is to build 10,000 residential flats in Afghanistan, an official said Tuesday, as the preliminary works have been done.

Urban development minister Sayed Saadat Mansoor Naderi told Afghanistan Times that they were working with the Chinese government to accomplish contract of the apartments.

“We will publicize the details of the contract and the location of the apartments would be determined as soon as possible,” Naderi said.

“So far, it is not clear that how many apartments would be built in Kabul.”

He added that China had some conditions about the project that the ministry would consider.

According to a cooperation agreement signed in November, China accepted to build 10, 000 residential apartments at a cost of 500 million Yuan ($79 million) in Afghanistan.

The construction of residential apartments will be the second biggest housing project after the former Soviet Union’s Micro Rayon projects constructed in Kabul.

Naderi said that a great number of the apartments would be distributed to government employees and security staffs who do not own homes yet, adding that the project would create thousands of job opportunities.

“A section of these units would be constructed in Darul Aman area of Kabul where security bases are located,” he said.

“The implementation of this project would be a big step towards the institutionalization of the concept of ‘affordable housing’ in Afghanistan which can solve the problem of homelessness.”

It is one of the characteristics for the economic growth and to help improve the living condition of working-class to middle-class,” said the minister.

He said that the well-off people can buy houses, but the needy ones cannot purchase a shelter.  Young couples cannot afford to buy houses because of high prices. So, we in coordination with other institutions would generate a system to provide residential units to people with no advance payments and on cheap and long-term installments, Naderi said.

Thousands of families have moved into capital from different rural areas and live in rental houses with high prices. According to urban ministry data, 75 percent of Kabul construction is out of master plan.

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