Yes to affordable housing, not low-income ’hoods

RemraamImage Credit: Courtesy of Dubai Properties

The proposal by Dubai Municipality to introduce mandatory affordable housing quotas for all new residential developments in Dubai is long overdue, but real estate consultant Cluttons warns of the social implications of allowing developers to deliberately create off-site affordable housing projects.

“The issue of affordability has been one that has been quietly bubbling away in the background for some time,” said Steven Morgan, CEO of Cluttons Middle East.

Affordable housing is not a new concept and it has served cities such as London well, where developers are liable to provide affordable housing for developments starting with as little as ten units, according to Cluttons.

It has aided in the creation of diverse communities, while allowing people from all financial backgrounds to live alongside one another. However, there are situations wherein developers are permitted to build off-site affordable housing projects, mainly because of land costs. Authorities in London have been criticised for effectively creating lower-income neighbourhoods through this method, instead of promot- ing heterogeneous communities, according to Cluttons.

“Dubai is clearly not short of affordable neighbourhoods,” said Faisal Durrani, International Research and Business Development Manager of Cluttons. “Karama and Satwa are two key standout areas that evolved organically at the edges of the Deira-Bur Dubai and Jumeirah districts. During the course of expansion of any city, affordable districts often tend to spring up on the fringes of the main commercial districts and this has been the case with Dubai as well.

“Karama and Satwa have over time been absorbed into the city, but we’d strongly argue against deliberately creating affordable areas through the sanctioning of off-site affordable housing provisions as there are social implications to consider alongside the impact it can have on the urban fabric of a city.”

Source: Property Weekly


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