UPC target affordable homes in 2030 outline

UPC senior planner says that emirate's high-end market is 'saturated'

NEWS, Business, Abu Dhabi Cityscape, Affordable homes, UPC

Developers in Abu Dhabi could soon be required to build low and middle income housing to address the emirate’s shortage of affordable homes.

Urban Planning Council senior planning manager Michael White told Middle East Architect on Monday that the UPC were conscious that too many homes were being built in the luxury sector, while low and middle income buyers struggled to find affordable homes.

He said that providing homes and facilities for all sectors of the community was a fundamental tenet of the Abu Dhabi 2030 scheme.

“We’re implementing a policy that will require developers to provide 15 – 25% low income housing in major developments,” White said.

Although minimum build requirements have been unpopular with developers in some other countries, White said he did not expect developers in Abu Dhabi to object.

“The developers are seeing that there is a strong demand for the middle income market and this will be consistent with their demand. The high-end has been saturated,” he said.

He also said that including all levels of housing in single developments was more beneficial to separating low and middle income homes from their luxury counterparts, a practice that had created problems in cities all over the world.

“If you concentrate on low and middle income housing you create problems and it can detract from the overall neighborhood – all communities should have a mix of housing,” White said.

The UPC launched its ambitious plans for Abu Dhabi at Cityscape on Sunday, with a huge model of the emirate unveiled as a centerpiece to the four day event. On Monday the exhibit was visited by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

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