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Africa

Housing as major campaign issue

Video by Adel GASTEL , Noreddine BEZZIOU

Latest update : 2009-04-06

Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has promised one million new homes during his campaign for a third straight presidential term. The elections have been declared a farce by political opponents, but the need for housing is real.

Housing is one the Algerian presidential campaign's key issues. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in the running for a third term, has promised one million new homes.

It's night-time in Algiers, but not everyone has a bed to sleep in.

This three-bedroom appartment is occupied by four families - that's 30 people in all.

"My four daughters sleep here with me. Their father sleeps in the corner. There are also two single boys."

This is the room that serves as a kitchen, and this the bathroom.

The smell is hard to stand.

This housing estate is in Bab-zouar, 10 kilometres east of Algiers.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika himself gave the green light for its construction.

But not everyone is benefitting from the president's housing measures.

Mounir LAMECHE, architect
"In order to be able to rent easily, you have to look at the parallel market. People will rent you an appartment for 20.000 dinars a month. With a salary of 30.000 to 40.000 dinars a month, it's hard to make ends meet."

For these men, their dream has come true.

To show their gratitude to the president, they've launched a support committee for him

Larbi HAMDI, vice- president of a residents association
"It used to be completely impossible to get housing from the state. Then this programme started. The president insisted. With this renting and selling programme he wanted to give professionals decent housing as they can't benefit from social housing."

Buteflika has promised a million new homes in total.

Date created : 2009-04-05

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