Turkey to build 300,000 new homes per year as crisis persists

Turkey will build at least 300,000 homes per year under a nationwide urban renewal programme, Karar newspaper reported citing Murat Kurum, minister in charge of the environment and urbanisation.

Construction will be financed via Emlak Bank, a much-maligned financial institution of the crisis-hit 1990’s which is being revived under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey’s real estate industry is in a slump after the lira slid by almost a third against the dollar last year and interest rates on mortgages soared. Many companies who are applying for bankruptcy or court protection from creditors are construction firms, and scores of big projects have been left incomplete.

The government will lead construction of 30,000 of the dwellings with the remainder to be built through municipalities and by private contractors with Emlak Bank’s help, Kurum said, according to the newspaper.

Turkey says urban renewal is needed because of concerns about natural disasters and building safety.

The government will introduce special criteria for construction firms to prevent them from leaving projects half-finished, Kurum said. Municipalities will also be able to secure cheap loans from Ilbank, another state-run financial company, provided they meet certain standards, he said, according to Karar.

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