Ankara, September 15 (IANS) Low-income families in Turkey have started submitting applications for a massive social housing project that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described as the biggest such initiative in the country’s history currently. plagued by rising inflation.
The five-year plan was announced by Erdogan on Tuesday, as the government grapples with rising housing and rental costs as well as a 24-year high inflation rate of more than 80% in August, the report reports. Xinhua news agency.
Under the project, 500,000 houses and 250,000 residential plots will be provided to eligible applicants whose monthly income is below 18,000 lira ($990) in Istanbul and 16,000 lira in other provinces.
According to local media, the project will cost the government nearly $50 billion.
Priority would be given to pensioners, young people, newlyweds, army veterans, relatives of soldiers killed in action and the disabled, according to Erdogan.
More than 250,000 people applied on the first day of its launch on Wednesday, according to Minister of Environment, Town Planning and Climate Change Murat Kurum.
In Istanbul, the country’s largest city of 16 million people, long queues of applicants were seen outside public banks.
The project was launched at a time when housing and rental costs across the country, especially in major cities, were rising rapidly.
House prices rose 160% in June from a year earlier, according to the Turkish Central Bank’s latest house price index.
The growth rate was 184% in Istanbul and 165% in Ankara.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, around 820,300 homes were sold from January to July this year, a year-on-year increase of 24.2% despite high borrowing rates and rising house prices.
Many households are investing in homes, cars and durable household goods amid the lira’s depreciation since the start of 2021.
Interest rate cuts by the central bank, demanded by Erdogan who supports low interest rates, have had a profound impact on the country’s economy and increased demand for real estate projects.
As Turkey heads towards its presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2023, some analysts believe the launch of the housing project will help win the votes of low-income households.