His Majesty King Abdullah II launched on February 26, 2008 a national initiative for housing under the name "Decent Housing for Decent Living" in an effort to promote social and economic security by providing a wide range of citizens appropriate housing in all the provinces within the five-year plan beginning in 2008.
The Royal Vision and objectives were clear but the initial implementation process suffered a setback from the repercussions of the global financial crisis affecting Jordan, like many countries in the region and the world, and resulting in a decline in real estate investment, coupled with the failure by the competent authorities to develop alternative plans and adjust to new realities on the ground.
The Royal Initiative when launched by His Majesty King provided for a five-year government plan that foresees the construction of a total 100,000 apartments, starting in 2008 with the construction of 20,500 apartments, for thousands of citizens from low- middle income groups, public-sector employees, armed forces, security services, and retired military personnel and civilians.
His Majesty’s initiative was based on population studies in Jordan for the next five years that showed that the social and economic security is an urgent priority, and calls for the provision of decent housing for many families in Jordan.
His Majesty the King inaugurated the initiative with a speech before 2500 figures representing various segments of Jordanian society under the guiding principle that His Majesty was fully aware of rising cost of living and soaring prices which he described King as “universal and beyond our control and our will."
His Majesty the King, "I am aware of citizen concerns and problems, and I appreciate the dreams and aspirations of Jordanians. The issue of rising cost of living and high prices, and the issue of housing are the most important priorities and a source of concern and suffering to the sons and daughters of this nation."
The Royal initiative is all about providing apartments at affordable cost to those
social groups and families benefiting from the initiative and commensurate with their means.. His Majesty directed the government to implement the initiative as soon as possible and to provide land and infrastructure, and create the necessary funding channels to facilitate the ownership by citizens to such housing.
The Government, as the body responsible for implementing the initiative of His Majesty the King, confirmed its full commitment to carry out the instructions of His Majesty as they were also contained in the Speech from the Throne opening the first ordinary session of the National Assembly. The Government developed an implementation program within the appropriate environment and at prices commensurate with their financial reach.
The Government adopted under the implementation plans about a third of monthly income as a maximum monthly deductible for the purposes of obtaining funding for housing and without a down payment. The Government has developed principles and standards to the advantage of transparency and fairness to beneficiaries, including clear criteria for eligibility for the delivery of support to those who deserve of citizens within those lines.
The Government, at that time, developed the implementation mechanism in collaboration with the private sector, the basis of which is the provision of land owned by the Treasury, free of charge, towards the construction of these projects. In addition, the Government would bear the cost of necessary infrastructure and maintenance to enable a healthy low-income home ownership that is affordable and realize the principles of justice and equality among segments of society through the standardization of access and forms of government support.
The implementation plan developed by the Government provided for two phases, one began to be implemented during 2008 and included the construction of 20,500 apartments built on land owned by the General Establishment for Housing and Urban Development, complete with infrastructure services in various Governorates of the Kingdom, and on government land within the city of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.
The second phase was would include the construction of 100,000 housing units implemented over five years at the rate of 20,000 units per year, 75% of them within fully serviced neighborhoods, and the other 25% in various Governorates.
Eventually, the initiative of His Majesty the King, in spite of a faltering process, remains noble in its purpose to strengthen social and economic security by providing a wide range of appropriate housing to citizens in all governorates of the Kingdom.