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RIYADH: Thousands of Saudi Arabia’s neediest families are to own homes within five years, after the minister of municipal and rural affairs and housing signed agreements for 5,000 housing units in the Riyadh region.

Majed Al-Hogail signed the agreements on Thursday with the National Developmental Housing Corporation (Sakan) and the Charitable Society for Orphan Care in Riyadh (Ensan).

They were signed in the presence of Riyadh Gov. Faisal bin Bandar, who also chairs Ensan’s board of directors.

The governor praised the efforts of the ministry and the two organizations to “activate nonprofit and humanitarian work for the most important need of families, which is housing that provides a decent life and a future.”

Ensan is focused on helping orphans to lead a “decent life with high-quality programs and a distinguished method that will gain the trust of the community.”

HIGHLIGHT

There are 5,000 housing units in the agreements: 2,000 ready-made housing villas within the ministry’s projects, the allocation of 1,500 plots of land that the ministry is committed to providing, and the allocation of 1,500 plots from the beneficiaries’ land or land that has been allocated to them from charities.

The agreements aim to create the necessary environment for the nonprofit sector to increase its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product, achieve family stability for people, and increase Saudi home ownership in several cities.

They cover a five-year period and provide suitable housing for families registered with Ensan and according to the support mechanism approved by the Jood Eskan platform.

There are 5,000 housing units in the agreements: 2,000 ready-made housing villas within the ministry’s projects, the allocation of 1,500 plots of land that the ministry is committed to providing, and the allocation of 1,500 plots from the beneficiaries’ land or land that has been allocated to them from charities.

The minister stressed the effective role of the agreements in promoting the participation of the third sector and stimulating housing development programs.

He also noted the role of Jood Eskan in empowering civil associations and providing the necessary financial resources in partnership with community members to provide housing for families in need, enhance the quality of life for families, and develop its members economically and socially.

“When families do not have their own housing, some of their members may be exposed to stress and difficult times that may lead to psychological disorders and may be reflected in a negative behavioral form as a result of frustration, especially with the head of the family,” said sociologist Dr. Abdullah Alhisan, adding that the government was encouraging the private and nonprofit sectors to sponsor homeowning initiatives.

“I call for the continuous adoption of campaigns to stimulate initiatives that contribute to providing the basic requirements of needy families, as this leads to positive effects on society. Unfortunately, donations or alms are still disbursed in a way to charities. We should put a slogan for each family of housing in light of the prevailing societal culture, which tends to own homes more than other cultures around the world.”

Alhisan urged for charitable housing initiatives to be supported until they became reality, saying such an outcome would achieve a general level of social stability.

He stressed the importance of stimulating the for-profit sector that contributed to securing housing through government privileges. He also hoped that the nonprofit sector would play a better role than the one it currently played by developing its tools.

He said that agreements like those signed on Thursday had a positive impact on people in need, their thoughts, actions, and behavior.

The lack of housing “may constitute bad incubators for the frustrated in one way or another. That’s when they see that their basic needs are not being met.”

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