A view from Tehran

Tehran Initiates Talks With China To Tackle Housing Shortage

Wednesday, 01/31/2024

The deputy mayor of Tehran revealed that discussions have begun with Chinese developers regarding the construction of subsidized residential units within the city.

In discussions about the Chinese Housing Construction plan, Hamid-Reza Saremi stated, "We have initiated negotiations with Chinese developers, leading to the allocation of parcels of land exceeding one hectare in size in the southern regions of the city."

He elaborated, "Under the initiative, homeowners will exchange their keys for newly constructed Chinese apartments."

His comments come as a recent report highlights the significant economic hardships faced by workers in Iran, with approximately 55% of laborers' wages being consumed by rental costs. The minimum wage for married workers, including all benefits, barely exceeds $180 per month, while the minimum monthly expenditure on food for an average three-person household ranges between $140 and $160.

Last month, the Iranian government delivered housing units as part of the Mehr Housing initiative to long-awaiting owners. However, the newly allocated units lacked essential utilities such as water, electricity, and gas.

The Mehr Housing scheme, initially launched during President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's tenure from 2005 to 2013, aimed to construct a total of 4.3 million housing units and continued under President Hassan Rouhani's administration.

During his campaign, President Ebrahim Raisi pledged to build one million housing units annually. However, housing market experts and some politicians have criticized this commitment as "impractical." The average price of one square meter of housing in Tehran stands at approximately 600 million rials ($1,200), significantly surpassing the monthly minimum wage of around $120 (excluding benefits).

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