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Libya to Resume Construction 50,000 Houses, Government Says

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Libya’s Ministry of Housing plans to build 50,000 houses over the next six to 18 months, the government said today.

The planned construction will honor a commitment to urban housing interrupted by last year’s revolt against former dictator Muammar Qaddafi, government spokesman Nasser al Mannae said at a weekly press briefing in Tripoli. He didn’t provide additional details.

“Given the displacement and damage caused by last year’s conflict, there is now a pressing need for a really comprehensive nationwide survey to determine how many houses need to be built and where,” said Beth Hepworth, Director of Frontier MEA, a research and advisory firm that conducted real-estate market feasibility studies in Libya since 2007 and has an office in Tripoli.

There are 70,000 to 90,000 internally displaced persons in Libya, according to UNHCR. Ongoing instability is still forcing people to leave some areas.

“This will go some way to alleviate the housing crisis that is affecting Libya, but our estimates are that more than ten times that number are needed,” said Hatem Benfayed, head of the Tripoli-based Libya Housing Authority.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brigitte Scheffer in Dubai at bscheffer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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