Life in Iran TodayHousing Crisis: Iran Government’s Project To Expel the Poor...

Housing Crisis: Iran Government’s Project To Expel the Poor From Metropolises

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The Iranian government claims that they are administrating the country based on ‘Islamic Teachings.’ However, what is in practice being done is an economy based on government capitalism that is run in a corrupt way. In this context, the government is controlling all the country’s economic sources.

It is directing all the political, social, and economic relations, that should be favoring the people, close to the rule and governing system.

One of the manifestations of this corrupt government capitalism can be seen in the housing sector of the country. The banks and rich people close to the government have captured this sector of the economy entirely, and they are expelling all the poor people from the cities.

Mojtaba Yousefi, Member of the Civil Commission of the Parliament, said in March this year that the “price of housing has been increased by 700 percent over the past seven years.”

That means, that the regime’s wealthy and powerful people have increased the housing costs in such a way that now no one in Iran is capable to have an urban life.

Iran Central Bank has previously announced that the renting costs that increasing by 51.3 percent this October compared to the month of the last year.

According to statistics published by the Central Bank, the average price of one square meter of residential unit traded in Tehran in August this year compared to the same month last year has increased by 34 percent.

This rate of increase is belonging just to one year and as Yousefi said, housing has increased by 700 percent in the past seven years. That means that nearly 70 percent of Iran’s families are living under the “housing poverty line” and are no longer able to stay in the cities and are pushed to the margins of the metropoles according to Abolfazl Norouzi, the Adviser to the Minister of Roads and Urban Development.

Masoud Shafiei, head of Tehran’s Management and Planning Organization, acknowledged on October 3 that more than four million people in this province live in ‘informal settlements’, ‘suburban areas’ and ‘dysfunctional structures‘, which is equivalent to ’31 percent of the population of Tehran province’.

In other words, this 31 percent of the population can be considered the victims of the project of expelling the poor from expensive metropolises such as Tehran. In addition, according to Iranian media reports, over 19 million Iranians are marginalized and suffer from a variety of social harms.

However, according to Mohammad Reza Rezaei Kochi, head of the parliament’s civil commission, “there are more than two million vacant houses in Iranian cities whose owners neither sell them nor rent them out.”

What is going on shows that the corrupt capitalist system in Iran is being organized in a manner to accelerate the project of expelling the poor from the metropolis. If in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government a significant number of the people were pushed to the outskirts of cities and metropolises with the Mehr housing project which showed its destructive result in the 2017 Iran-Iraq earthquake with at least 630 people killed due to the poor construction quality and government corruption. Now this time in another ‘populist government’, the deprived will be expelled from economic centers with the ‘housing leap plan’.

Mahmoud Mahmoudzadeh, Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development, said about the plan: “We have prepared executive plans regarding the law of production leap and provision of housing and the goal of building one million units annually.”

The housing program of Ebrahim Raisi’s government is facing a lot of criticism, including where the staggering cost is to be met and how it is possible to build one million housing units in one year. The government seems to be in such a hurry to drive the poor population out of the cities that there is no precise logic or calculation behind its new plan.

Hurricanes of high costs and housing inflation have hit even the margins of the cities, and not only the purchase price of houses but also rents in metropolitan areas have risen sharply; For example, a 90-meter residential unit in Safadasht, Tehran, which in November last year could be easily contracted with a deposit of 30 million Tomans and a monthly rent of 2 million Tomans, this November, the same unit can be purchased with a deposit of 70 million Tomans and a rent of 5 million Tomans.

The Minister of Labor, Cooperation and Social Welfare, Hojjatollah Abdol Maleki, recently acknowledged that “housing devouring 60 percent of a family’s incomes so that ordinary people and the working class cannot afford it.”

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