The new owners of social housing units in Dahshour in 6th of October City demonstrated again on Friday against the refusal of banks to deliver the units before paying a maintenance deposit.
The maintenance deposit amounts to EGP 6,750. Each unit owner is enlisted in a specific bank, in which all unit-related payments need to be absolved. The banks involved are the Housing & Development Bank (HDB), the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, Arab African International Bank (AAIB), and Union National Bank Egypt (UNB).
The HDB stipulated that the payment of the deposit is a condition for completing contracting procedures. An alternative would be to sign an agreement with the bank to pay the maintenance deposit in instalments.
Unit owners refused to pay the maintenance deposit with an interest rate. Each unit costs an average of EGP 135,000; however, after adding the interest rate of paying monthly instalments over 20 years, the amount jumps to approximately EGP 200,000. Regarding the additional maintenance fees, the bank’s suggested plan of paying EGP 50 monthly over 20 years leads to a total maintenance deposit of EGP 12,000, instead of the actual announced price of EGP 6,750.
Mohamed El-Sayed, an employee at Mahgoub for Ceramic and Porcelain and owner of a unit in the social housing project, told Daily News Egypt that the maintenance deposit is “unlawful money collection”, as owners suffer from high down-payments and instalments, although the project is considered part of a grant from the United Arab Emirates for lower-income Egyptians.
El-Sayed added that he had borrowed money to pay for the unit and will not be able to bear the interest rates. He also stated that the units’ finishing is of poor quality, and needs additional modifications, which adds to the burden.
“I submitted a complaint to the cabinet regarding the maintenance deposit, the unit’s finishing, and the high instalment payments. The cabinet told me they will get back to me within a week,” El-Sayed said.
He noted that on 15 August, the owners will demonstrate in front of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) or 6th of October City Council to demand much-needed services for the area, such as a hygiene company and the forestation of the whole city. They will also call for means of transportation to the units, the lighting of the entrance of the city, and speeding up natural gas connections and landline telephones.
From her part, Sahar Mahmoud, a teacher and owner of a unit, said that the owners had met Cairo governor Kamal El-Daly to lay out the problems of the new project. She added that about five owners represented all the other owners to discuss the above-mentioned issues.
Mahmoud added that the governor promised to provide an ambulance and medical practitioner for the area, and that he will discuss transportation with the concerned authorities.
Mahmoud noted that the owners will meet on Friday to discuss updates on the maintenance deposit, adding that some banks stopped mentioning the deposit.
“The owners who pay the monthly instalments to HDB were asked to resign the unit contracts after adding the value of the maintenance deposit and to sign cheques as instalment deposits,” Mahmoud noted. “Even though the amount was mentioned in the unit’s contract, it was not mentioned that there is an additional interest rate on the deposit,” she explained.
Previously, deputy of 6th of October City Council Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud told Daily News Egypt that the Mortgage Finance Fund and the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces are responsible for assigning a company to carry out maintenance services for a deposit of EGP 6,750, as is stated in the contract, not the city council.