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Watch: Low-income families, bachelors to benefit from cheaper monthly rents

Abu Dhabi announces new plan to provide affordable housing for low-income residents

Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
Ahmad Kutty/Gulf NewsThe initiative is in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi Government aimed to provide all means of decent and stable living for all spectrums of the community.
Gulf News

ABU DHABI: Low-income families and bachelors in Abu Dhabi will benefit from cheaper monthly rents under a new scheme announced by Abu Dhabi Municipality on Saturday.

 

The Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport said that high-quality affordable accommodations will be provided to low-income residents in the capital where rents would range from Dh700 to Dh1,400 per month. The plan allows property owners to build new buildings or convert existing properties for low income residents.

For low-income segment who earn a monthly income of Dh4,000 to Dh6,000, rents will range from Dh1,400 to Dh2,100 per month.

Those who earn an annual income ranging from Dh48,000 to Dh72,000 will be offered annual rent ranging from Dh16,800 to Dh25,000.

The initiative is designed to benefit families who earn fixed monthly and annual incomes.

Musabbah Mubarak Al Murar, Acting General Manager of Abu Dhabi City Municipality, said: “This initiative aims to provide proper and legal options of residential units befitting the financial means of low-income individuals and at the same time open an investment opportunity to owners of commercial properties in Abu Dhabi Emirate.”

“The initiative is in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi Government aimed to provide all means of decent and stable living for all spectrums of the community. It will also offer support to fixed income groups by providing them accommodation at affordable rents that commensurate with their annual income levels,” said Al Murar.

The targeted buildings under this initiative include existing buildings which had been partitioned without following licensing conditions.

It also applies to divisible buildings under extensive maintenance, those occupied by bachelors, and new buildings.

There are two targeted categories of occupants: The first is low-income segment earning a monthly income of Dh4,000 to Dh6,000, and their rent will range from Dh1,400 to Dh2,100 per month. So individuals with an annual income ranging from Dh48,000 to Dh72,000 will be offered annual rent ranging from Dh16,800 to Dh25,000.

The second category is bachelors with fixed incomes. The rental value will be Dh700 to Dh1,400 per month for those who earn a monthly income of Dh2,000 to Dh4,000. So, the annual rent will vary from Dh8,400 to Dh16,800 for those whose annual income is in the range of Dh24,000 to Dh48,000.

The rental value is calculated at a rate not exceeding 35 per cent of the individual’s total income; with consideration given to the number of occupants, the municipality said.

 

Eligibility criteria

 

The municipality has set three conditions that have to be fulfilled by individuals to be eligible for the initiative.

The first criterion is planning. The building has to overlook a main road. It is permissible to convert all floors into residential units including the mezzanine, except for the ground floor.

Landlords may be exempted from the providing parking if the building is intended for bachelors, depending on the surrounding urbanisation and the stipulations of the concerned bodies.

The property owner is entitled to re-divide the interiors in line with the technical and civil defence conditions.

The second criterion is design. The minimum area of the residential unit must be as follows: studio flat: 26 square metres, one bedroom flat: 40 square metres, two bedroom flat: 60 square metres, and three bedroom flat: 80 square metres.

The third criterion is the operational standards. The priority of renting shall be to those working in entities and commercial organisations within the same sector. Units cannot be rented to individuals directly. The building must be designated for the accommodation of one gender (men or women) in case of male or female bachelors. A contract will be made with an approved security company, and each occupant will be given a building access card.

 

Licensing

 

The licensing of convertible properties requires submitting an application to Abu Dhabi Municipality for converting a building to an accommodation for fixed income groups.

The application will be assessed to verify if the sector needs accommodation for fixed income earners.

Afterwards, the applicant will receive a provisional approval valid for six months or a rejection notice.

Therefore, it is essential to ensure the constructional soundness of the building in case of rehabilitation.

The applicant shall then design the building according to the stipulations of occupancy and obtain a building permit as per the applicable procedure. The building will be registered in Tawtheeq system for Fixed Income Group. The owner has to submit an evidence of contracting with a specialist security firm as a pre-condition for receiving the building’s finial completion certificate.

Those interested in applying for leasing these units have to be registered by their employers at the concerned section of the municipality.

 

Benefits to investors

 

The municipality said it’s an investment opportunity for commercial property developers in the city.

It enables individual landlords, developers and investors to construct new buildings or convert their existing properties to residential units for fixed income residents. Modifications of such buildings include redesigning and revising the stipulations governing designs of interiors.

The municipality said it will also bridge the gap between supply and demand, and would offer property owners a ‘Return on Investment’ of about 21-28 per cent per annum.

It said it will save about Dh4 million in the total building cost, and reduce the construction period by as much as eight months.

 

Main points

 

For low-income segment who earn a monthly income of Dh4,000 to Dh6,000, rents will range from Dh1,400 to Dh2,100 per month.

Those who earn an annual income ranging from Dh48,000 to Dh72,000 will be offered annual rent ranging from Dh16,800 to Dh25,000.

The initiative is designed to benefit families who earn fixed monthly and annual incomes.

It enables individual landlords, developers and investors to construct new buildings or convert their existing properties to residential units for fixed income residents.

Two targeted categories of occupants: The first is low-income segment earning a monthly income of Dh4,000 to Dh6,000, and their rent will range from Dh1,400 to Dh2,100 per month. So individuals with an annual income ranging from Dh48,000 to Dh72,000 will be offered annual rent ranging from Dh16,800 to Dh25,000.

The second category is bachelors with fixed incomes. The rental value will be Dh700 to Dh1,400 per month for those who earn a monthly income of Dh2,000 to Dh4,000. So, the annual rent will vary from Dh8,400 to Dh16,800 for those whose annual income is in the range of Dh24,000 to Dh48,000.

 

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