Municipal Affairs and Housing

The projects and programs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia vary in the field of rural affairs and housing towards the social stability of citizens, besides establishing family security, national tourism, as well as improving the quality of life and prosperity in Saudi cities to meet the aspirations and needs of future generations and achieve citizen satisfaction. The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRAH)’s vision is based on excellence in providing municipal services, achieving urban sustainability in all regions of Saudi Arabia, and organizing and facilitating a balanced and sustainable housing environment that meets the aspirations.

Vision 2030 for Housing

Vision 2030 includes a comprehensive plan and specific goals across the municipal and residential areas in order to develop a thriving society and an economy that is diverse and sustainable. Furthermore, the vision unifies the MOMRAH efforts to bring about qualitative shifts in the municipal and residential sectors to increase the percentage of homeownership to 70% by 2030, and to improve the urban landscape by improving the quality of municipal services provided in Saudi cities.

Key challenges of the housing sector before Vision 2030

  • The percentage of Saudis who own a home is less than 50%
  • The waiting period for obtaining housing assistance is 15 years
  • Demand and supply curves

Challenges in real estate finance before Vision 2030:

  • The long time it takes to receive real estate funding for investment projects
  • Procedures tend to be complex and unclear
  • Procedures vary between different regions of the kingdom
  • Too many requirements
  • No time commitment
  • Government guarantees
  • Rising interest rates

Strategic Pillars of the Ministry

Spatial planning and urban landscape:

  1. Increase visual appeal
  2. Improving the quality of living
  3. Activating urban sustainability
  4. Land and real estate management
  5. Transparency in municipal property
  6. Land management efficiency

Infrastructure

  1. Maintain the infrastructure projects and maintenance
  2. Efficient in project delivery
  3. Quality assurance of infrastructure projects
  4. Hygiene and public health
  5. Improve hygiene services
  6. Improving public health services
  7. Awareness and enforcement

Stimulating Supply

  1. Stimulating the supply of housing units
  2. Enhance land availability and control monopolized property
  3. Increase visual appeal

Strengthen demand

  1. To enable families most in need to obtain housing
  2. Legislation and compliance
  3. Activate factors that increase compliance
  4. Development of the control system
  5. The effectiveness of legislation
  6. Raising the efficiency of the real estate development system

Financial sustainability

  1. Ensuring that revenue from fees and fines is commensurate with the cost of services
  2. Privatization of municipal services
  3. Developing investment revenues
  4. Increasing the efficiency of capital and operating expenditure
  5. Optimal budget planning

Institutional excellence

  1. Attracting, developing, and maintaining qualified workforce
  2. Improving the level of institutional maturity
  3. Developing institutional communication and raising awareness of MOMRAH’s services and products
  4. Enhancing social participation and responsibility
  5. Activating innovation in providing services

Digital transformation and data

  1. Digital transformation and smart cities
  2. Make use of the data
  3. Improve the user experience

Initiatives and Contributions to Improve the Field of Housing

Saudi Arabia has made significant efforts and contributions to improve the field of housing in the country. Several initiatives have been undertaken to address the housing needs of its citizens and promote sustainable development. These initiatives and contributions demonstrate the Saudi government's commitment to addressing housing needs, promoting sustainable development, and improving the overall living standards of its citizens.

Here are a few key initiatives and contributions:

  1. Listing and documentation of land and real estate units based on a standardized reference and updated topographic maps to speed up registration of the property
  2. Development of the municipal property investment system
  3. Land co-investment agreements
  4. Develop public benefit markets by operating them in the private sector
  5. Studying and developing the sites of the invasions and peaceful historical sites in the cities of the guests of Rahman
  6. Studying and designing a smart city platform for managing municipal assets in the cities of Guests of Rahman (the integrated cloud center for control and leadership)
  7. Improving the revenues of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs
  8. Developing the smart environmental system in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and the holy sites
  9. Studying, establishing and developing pedestrian roads linking the neighborhoods of Makkah Al-Mukarramah, the Grand Mosque and the holy sites
  10. Studying, developing and improving the visual landscape in the cities of Diouf Al-Rahman
  11. Studying the development of the municipal services system and other services related to rituals for the pilgrims
  12. Studyand and development slums adjacent to the central region in Makkah and Madinah
  13. Studying, developing and preparing municipal facilities and services to serve the pilgrims
  14. Establishing a center of excellence for urban design
  15. Facilitating the procedures for obtaining municipal services, unifying and automating them, and enforcing the electronic link with the relevant authorities
  16. Developing and operating technical work in the ministry, secretariats and municipalities
  17. Development of the Farasan Islands
  18. Development of population density
  19. Evaluate and tackle dangerous sites and prepare existing urban roads with the necessary traffic safety elements
  20. An integrated policy program for the development of the transport system
  21. Developing the municipal real estate investment system

Municipal, Rural Affairs, and Housing Achievements

Providing various housing options and solutions that meet the expectations of Saudi families
The housing programs offered by the Housing Program have provided many financing solutions and housing options, including ready-made units, self-build units, units under construction, and free residential lands, to enable Saudi families to own their first home.

Change the waiting period for housing support from 15 years to immediate entitlement
Prior to the housing program, there was a 15-year waiting period before receiving finance; whereas today, funding for real estate is available immediately. Additionally, the improvement of procedures and development of financing options have allowed residents to profit from housing products and acquire 100%-subsidized loans.

The growth of real estate financing contracts and the recording of unprecedented records
Enables the citizens to obtain real estate financing immediately from banks and financing institutions without waiting and providing the necessary guarantees and support through the subsidized real estate financing product.

The government exempting the real estate tax for the first residence
The government shall exempt the real estate tax of up to one million Saudi Riyals ($266K) from the value of the citizen's first home, contributing to reducing the financial burdens of owning a home.

Establishing several entities to serve and support the housing system
The state set up numerous agencies to provide assistance and services to the housing sector and to keep up with real estate development.  Established Institutions include the following:
  1. National Housing Company
  2. Real Estate General Authority
  3. Saudi Real Estate Institute
  4. The Saudi Center for Real Estate Arbitration

Organizing the rental sector and preserving the rights of its parties
Through the launch of the Ejar platform, which aims to develop the rental sector and regulate it to preserve the rights of the landlord, the tenant, and the real estate broker, and the adoption of the unified contract as an executive document, to establish a regulated and reliable rental real estate market.

White land development
The development of more than 411 million square meters of land has been targeted in the main cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and Makkah, and a plan has been put in place to expand the application of fees to 17 other cities.

Follow modern mechanisms in the new residential construction
Accelerating the pace of development and contributing to cost reduction, as more than 62,000 housing units are being developed according to the approach of modern construction methods, and an integrated house has been successfully built using 3D printing for the first time in the Middle East for one of the future housing options.

Launching the real estate project (Roshen)
It is a national real estate development company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, working to develop integrated residential neighborhoods that provide a modern lifestyle according to the highest standards for the citizens of Saudi Arabia.

Programs of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

The MOMRAH has achieved digital transformation in all fields to enhance digital transformation and achieve the ministry's strategic objectives in the municipal and housing sectors according to a sustainable digital system that aims to reach leading services for smart and innovative digital cities that provide a prosperous life for customers, develop new business models and innovative customer journeys, and enable Investment opportunities in data and services, raising the level of customer satisfaction and participation, as well as providing unified and reliable data to improve the flexibility and efficiency of the digital system.

Municipal programs

  • The National Portal of the Municipal Community:

The "Baladi" portal was developed in cooperation with the various municipal sector entities to be the national portal that supports the municipal community. This portal includes all electronic services that help submit electronic applications to obtain the most frequently used licenses and information services that help beneficiaries make relevant decisions, which contributes to improving satisfaction with the municipal sector entities.

This is towards achieving the main goal, which is to improve the quality of the level of municipal services provided to all the secretariats and municipalities of Saudi Arabia and to activate the role of beneficiaries as active partners while improving their level of satisfaction and enhancing the level of transparency between the municipal sector entities.

  • Municipal Investment Portal:

Furas is a unified database and the primary source for investors looking for investment opportunities offered by the municipalities, which significantly impact the development of the cities and villages of Saudi Arabia. The ministry has designed an opportunity portal with modern and advanced technology, which provides many advantages, the most important of which is the ease of searching and accessing various opportunities with the least time and effort, without the hassle of traveling to the headquarters of the secretariats and municipalities to identify them. Investors can benefit from the services provided at the click of a button through the website or smartphone applications. The portal also provides feasible investment opportunities, diverse in activity, size, and locations, and investment opportunities that contribute to the development and development of the cities and villages of Saudi Arabia.

It is a modern portal that facilitates the search for opportunities and access to all their details. It also allows the purchase of bids and the signing of contracts electronically.

Housing Programs

  • Sakani program

To provide many housing solutions to citizens and facilitate the decision to own the first home, the government launched the (Sakani) platform by offering various real estate units in residential projects spread throughout Saudi Arabia, which can be owned with easy payment systems. This platform is a big step in the real estate field and an opportunity for developers to set up multiple projects to encourage the real estate market and the economy in Saudi Arabia.

  • Ejar program

To raise the efficiency of the real estate rental sector and enhance confidence in it, the ministry launched a (Ejar) platform, which is an integrated electronic network that aims to regulate the real estate rental sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and preserve the rights of the parties to the rental process (tenant, landlord, real estate broker). The (Ejar) platform provides a set of electronic solutions that contribute to developing, organizing, and facilitating the real estate rental sector In a way that achieves balance in the sector and contributes to stimulating investment in it.

  • Etmam platform

Saudi Arabia has paid attention to improving the performance of the real estate sector and raising its contribution to the GDP, so it launched the Developer Services Center (Etmam), which aims to facilitate the procedures for conducting real estate development work through excellence in providing one-stop services for real estate developers, to become an integrated digital platform that speeds up operations Accreditation and approvals for real estate development with stakeholders, and providing integrated consulting solutions to real estate developers, in a way that contributes effectively to the development of the real estate development sector.

  • Mullak program

It is a program that allows owners to create an association that includes all owners of housing units with common parts, as this association facilitates access to services, communication, and organization of the facility. The Mullak program aims to manage buildings with common parts, and to create a healthy and organized residential environment that creates a shared quality of life, well-being and comfort in the long term. This is achieved through the program's keenness to regulate the owners' relations jointly.

  • Wafi program

It is the authority that's legally authorized to issue licenses to engage in the activity of selling real estate units off-plan in Saudi Arabia and to issue registration certificates in the Real Estate Developers Register for real estate development companies, to preserve the rights of citizens, so that (Wafi) becomes the trustworthy incubator for real estate sector investments in Saudi Arabia in order to protect and achieve satisfaction. Beneficiaries maintain their entitlements by organizing off-plan sales and rental activity in the real estate market.

  • Cooperative housing

The Cooperative Housing Program is one of the initiatives of the Ministry of Housing that contributes to achieving Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, which aims to organize and stimulate the cooperative societies sector with housing purposes to contribute to providing affordable housing units, by developing and developing the legal foundations for cooperative housing, building the capacities of cooperative societies and spreading awareness, in The context of achieving a set of goals, namely; Spreading the culture of cooperative housing, stimulating and empowering housing cooperative societies, contributing to reducing the value of home ownership, developing the regulatory and legislative environment for housing cooperative societies, stimulating the real estate supply and raising productivity to provide cooperative housing products at the appropriate price and quality.

  • Development Housing

The Developmental Housing Program seeks to provide housing units for the most needy families in society, who are covered by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development "Social Security" and have a completed application in the housing support portal "Eskan". The housing units are provided to the most needy families through various options, including; The ministry's housing units, which are available in all regions of the Kingdom, constructing and building new housing units, or through the direct purchase of suitable and available housing units. In order to ensure that the needs of families are quickly met, partnership agreements have been concluded with approximately 300 civil society organizations spread across all governorates of Saudi Arabia, to undertake the tasks of communication, visiting families, assisting them in determining suitable housing, following up on delivery, managing and operating housing units.

  • Sustainable construction

The Ministry of Housing seeks to find several solutions and initiatives that contribute to achieving its goals of increasing the percentage of citizens' ownership of housing units and regulating the real estate sector. Accordingly, the ministry launched the (Mostadam) platform, which aims to provide several services that contribute to the sustainability of housing units as follows:

  • Construction quality check

Where the building obtains an official certificate of execution quality after applying the quality mechanism of building implementation works through accredited examiners and after passing all examination stages.

  • Examination of prefabricated buildings

It is a mechanism for examining the quality of existing buildings through accredited examiners, according to which a detailed report is issued on the condition of the housing unit.

  • Building sustainability assessment

It is a mechanism for evaluating the building's compliance with environmental sustainability standards. According to the evaluation, the building receives a classification that determines the degree of compliance of the building with sustainability standards.

  • Quality inspection service for contractors' compliance with the classification

It allows contractors to obtain a report showing their commitment to quality and safety standards to preserve the urban landscape.

  • Partnership program

The Partnership Program with the Private Sector (Sharakat) is the new strategy of MOMRAH is to create a vital partnership with the private sector to provide housing solutions and products that are compatible with the needs of citizens at competitive, subsidized prices.

Its goals and strategy revolve around; Researching and studying agreements between the government and the private sectors, exchanging experiences and available assets between the two parties, providing the most appropriate services and products to achieve public benefit, approving the eligibility to participate in risks and resources, examining ways and means that can respond to the increasing housing demands and demands, finding optimal and appropriate housing products For the needs of the citizen, providing all the products that suit the Saudi citizen at a price that is commensurate with his income, and providing all this and more with the utmost quality.

  • Saudi Real Estate Institute

The Saudi Real Estate Institute is one of the initiatives launched by MOMRAH to achieve the vision of the Saudi Arabia 2030, as it constitutes the first educational entity specialized in the field of real estate sciences in Saudi Arabia, in cooperation with local and international partners and houses of expertise in the real estate field. The institute specializes in spreading international best practices in the real estate sector and is considered the academic arm of the General Real Estate Authority.

  •  Modern Building Initiative

The Modern Building Methods initiative was launched as part of the housing system to lay the basic foundations to support the transformation process from traditional construction to modern construction, invest in advanced technologies, and contribute mainly to keeping pace with industrial development and confirming the kingdom's leadership in this field, in order to enable the citizen to find housing that meets Aspirations in record time with high quality and competitive cost. In the interest of implementation in accordance with the aspirations of the country and the citizen. The initiative is supervised by the Housing Program, the National Industry Development Program, and Logistics Services, with the support of the private sector stimulus plan.

  • Value-added tax for the first residence

The Royal Decree No. (A/86) dated 4/18/1439 AH (5/1/2008) indicates that the country shall exempt the VAT of no more than an amount of 850,000 SAR ($226,591) from the purchase price of a citizen's first home in order to reduce the cost of owning a suitable home for citizens.

Housing Program 2030

The housing program works to provide housing solutions and financing options to enable Saudi families to own suitable housing, either through ownership or usufruct, according to their needs and financial capabilities, in parallel with increasing the supply of housing options that are implemented at reasonable prices in less time with higher quality, to provide specialized housing programs for.

the most needy in society. The program also aims to develop the legislative and regulatory environment for the housing sector to increase its economic impact, enhance its attractiveness to the private sector, which contributes to creating job opportunities in the sector and enhances its participation in the gross domestic product.

Housing Program Achievements

  • The housing program announced that it had achieved its strategic goal of reaching 60% ownership in 2020, compared to 47% before the launch of the program in 2016. The program also confirmed its continuation of achieving its goals by supporting Saudi families and enabling them to own or benefit from their first home
  • The program was able to cancel the concept of waiting for housing support and provide immediate entitlement to citizens by providing financing solutions and various housing options, which contributed to the benefit of more than 834 thousand Saudi families, of which more than 310 thousand families inhabited their homes
  • The program provided adequate housing for the most needy families by providing more than 46,000 housing units in various regions of Saudi Arabia, and the Jood Eskan platform was launched, which is concerned with providing an opportunity to involve the community to provide a helping hand for charitable housing giving in cooperation with 121 charities, as the platform contributed to supporting More than 23,000 families, with community contributions exceeding 400 million SAR ≈ ($106 million)
  • The program adopted the use of modern construction techniques to accelerate the pace of development and contribute to reducing the cost, as the number of developed housing units reached more than 62 thousand housing units. The white land fee system was also applied to total areas exceeding 400 million square meters and the collection of more than 1.4 billion SAR ($373 million) to be invested in developing Infrastructure for housing projects
  • The housing program provided more than 141,000 housing units by activating the partnership with real estate developers and strengthening partnerships with banks and financing institutions, to facilitate the provision of real estate loans to Saudi families, which contributed to the growth of the number of real estate loans from 20,000 contracts in 2016 to 295,000 contracts 2020, and the Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company was launched to enhance liquidity in the financing market
  • The high contribution of the housing program to the GDP: 
  1. The contribution of the real estate activities and building and construction sectors amounted to the equivalent of 115 billion SAR ($30 billion) during the first program period, 2018-2020
  2. Creating more than 39,000 direct job opportunities during 2018-2020
  3. Non-governmental investment in the real estate sector amounted to more than 254 billion SAR ($67.73 billion) in 2020
  4. The real estate sector is the second-largest catalyst for the growth of more than 120 economic activities and provides the necessary foundations for building a vibrant community
  • Creating more than 39,000 direct job opportunities during 2018-2020
  • The real estate sector is the second-largest catalyst for the growth of more than 120 economic activities and provides the necessary foundations for building a vibrant community
  • Facilitating the ownership procedures through the Sakani platform and the comprehensive Sakani center
  • through advanced digital services and platforms characterized by their speed and ease, including the Sakani application for smartphones: which allows immediate registration and entitlement, reservation of housing units, quotation, reservation of free lands, and issuance of contracts thereof, while the application process has been downloaded more than 7 million times
  • Real estate advisor service: this provides recommendations and the best financing offers to beneficiaries to facilitate appropriate financing decision-making by banks and financing institutions, as the total number of beneficiaries reached more than 800 thousand beneficiaries
  • Engineering designs and immediate issuance of building permits: this provided 25 typical engineering designs with the possibility of immediate issuance of building permits to reduce pre-construction procedures and at a lower cost
  • Establishing a comprehensive housing center: and operating it in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al-Khobar to provide all housing options and solutions under one roof, as all projects of developers and financing agencies are located in the center to complete the procedures for the beneficiaries in one visit

Within a few years, the housing sector immediately exceeded its targets by providing services to Saudi families, reaching a homeownership rate of 60% in 2020.

Perhaps the most prominent of the numbers brought by the statistics is something to be proud of. The percentage of homeownership increased to 62%, with a decrease in the percentage of rented housing to 35.49%.

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