Background and objectives:
The housing sector in Iraq is overwhelmed with major problems. These include: Outdated and ineffective government laws and policies; Ineffective institutions in charge of the delivery of housing to middle and low-income groups that are overly bureaucratic, suffer from isolation, lack of coordination and human resource development; A national housing shortage of over 1.5 million units; Lack of public housing finance schemes and private sector involvement in the financing and construction of new housing, particularly for low-income and vulnerable groups; The absence of reliable baseline data and information systems on the supply and demand of housing; Weak construction and building material industries; A history of arbitrary land allocation.
This project responded to the immediate needs identified by the United Nations/World Bank Joint Iraq Needs Assessment (October 2003) and was one of the 6 priority programmes identified and prepared jointly by UN-HABITAT and the High-level Panel for the Reconstruction of Iraq. These 6 priority programmes are summarized under the Urban and Housing Rehabilitation Programme (UHRP), which was adopted by the Ministries of Construction and Housing, Municipalities and Public Works, and Planning and International Cooperation.
Capacity building of, and policy reform support for the Ministries of Construction & Housing and Municipalities & Public Works, regarding the housing and housing finance sectors;
Strengthening the role of the private sector, NGO’s and community organizations in the housing sector.
The main activities include:
Implementing a programme of training, capacity building, and policy dialogue involving a total of 360 weeks of training, and;
Supplying electronic data processing equipment to the ministry.
Existing housing policies and programmes, housing institutions, laws and regulations, and the role of the private sector and civil society in housing and finance reviewed;
Housing finance strategy, a draft slum upgrading strategy (including the establishment of a slum upgrading task force) and other enabling housing policies drafted;
A comprehensive nation-wide housing market survey completed;
Technical skills training in various specialized areas implemented for 250 ministry officials, municipal staff, NGOs and private sector representatives;
Computer equipment and software supplied to the ministry.