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Syria’s General Establishment of Housing announces beginning of registration for those entitled to alternative housing

The "Marota City" project - 10 September 2020 (Facebook)

The "Marota City" project - 10 September 2020 (Facebook)

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The Syrian General Establishment of Housing has opened the door of registration for those entitled to alternative housing in the areas of the “Marota City” and the “Basilia City” projects, which reached 5,516 accommodation units.

In a statement published on 28 September, the establishment said that “registration for alternative housing for eligible property owner has started,” adding that it listed the names of entitled people in tables certified by Damascus governorate, where names are listed according to their specified dwelling category and space.

The establishment also announced that the application period would last between 18 December and 14 January of 2021.

The establishment published a table in which it clarified due categories and spaces, the initial cash payments to be paid and the date of payment, monthly installments, and the specific branch of Syria’s Real Estate Bank for payment.

According to the announcement, after the expiration of the registration period and the first cash payment, the applicant should review the General Establishment of Housing (general management) to receive the subscription book in preparation for the monthly payment to be made at the dates set by the establishment.

The establishment identified the Thursday of every week for those who failed to pay within the specified days of the same week, indicating that in case of having many occupants per house, an administrative authorization is presented to one of them, duly authenticated by a notary.

The establishment granted the citizens defaulted on paying their monthly payments and financial commitments for more than 240 days, a deadline till 31 December to pay their financial commitments with the fines.

The establishment added that in case of not paying within the advertising period, the registration application is considered “annulled,” confirming that the announcement is equivalent to a personal notification and a final warning.

On 8 July, Damascus governorate signed a memorandum of understanding with the General Establishment of Housing to establish alternative accommodation for the residents of the “Marota City” project and set up construction specifications that suit the area’s construction.

“Marota City”

The “Marota City” project started in 2012, after the Syrian regime’s president, Bashar al-Assad, issued the Legislative Decree No. 66, which provided for the establishment of a regulatory area in the Khalaf al-Razi area in Damascus.

Eight years after the project began, the residents did not receive alternative housing, because of the lack of funds available in the governorate, according to the director of the governorate’s technical studies, Mu’ammar Dakak, who said that the alternative accommodation cost is estimated at 285 billion Syrian pounds (SYP) (about 124 million USD).

At the end of last June, Syria’s Prime Minister, Hussein Arnous, asked the Ministry of Finance, Damascus governorate, and “Damascus Cham Holding Company” (owned by the governorate and responsible for implementing the project) to find appropriate formulas in providing financing support and to ensure financial flows to start the alternative housing project.

The regime’s government agreed on “establishing the alternative housing in a non-occupied area within the land stipulated in the decree No. 66, with good internal and external specifications, and in line with the overall visual landscape of the project.”

In January 2019, the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions on 11 Syrian businessmen and five business entities, most of which connected with the “Marota City” project.

“Basilia City”

The “Basilia City” project, which has been suspended for years, extends from the southern ring road to the al-Qadam and the al-Asali districts, and the “30th” Street of the Yarmouk camp area. It covers ​​900 hectares, which is equivalent to nine million square meters and includes nearly 4,000 properties.

Damascus governor, Adel al-Olabi, announced in August 2019 the start of the “Basilia City” project, noting that the cost of the project’s technical study was estimated at 750 million pounds (SYP = 332,594 USD), with a 480-day as implementation period.

The project is one of the most important investment projects in Damascus. Previously, the former Prime Minister, Imad Khamis, announced that he will not allow any stalling in the “Marota City” and “Basilia City” projects and that all obstacles to their implementation would be overcome.

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