Building Lives: Return visit to an affordable housing project in Algeria

From afar, you can see the red-brown and beige buildings of its Mahelma community in the new town of Sidi Abdellah in Algiers. In the evening, you can see residents strolling through the community and groups of children playing happily near the slides. You can also see many young people enjoying a football game.

The area is part of a subsidized housing complex built by the government of Sidi Abdellah. Since its completion and commissioning in 2019, it has not only helped to effectively improve local housing conditions, but also helped more than 10,000 residents realize their dream of living comfortably.

Since the middle of the 20th century, the urban population of Algeria has increased sixfold. This has strained housing resources, created squatters and forced several generations to live together in cramped quarters. To solve the problem, local authorities have introduced affordable housing.

Benssada Loubna’s family is a beneficiary of affordable housing. In the past, they had to live in a small old house in the Ain Benian district. Today, owning your own home is a source of happiness.

“In 2019, my family and I moved into the new Chinese-built apartment,” Loubna said. “Before that, I used to worry all the time just because we didn’t have a stable place to live.”

“The moment I got the keys and opened my new home, the feeling was indescribable, like starting a new life,” she said.

Xuan Shijie, the project manager at the time, told reporters that he had searched every corner of every housing site. What impressed him most were the smiling faces of those who moved in and their heartfelt greetings to the builders.

To manage the limits of affordable housing, China State Construction borrowed the concept of Barcelona’s Superblock to make interior traffic more user-friendly. The privacy of residents is also well protected.

“It’s not a luxury project. But we put a lot of effort into the materials and details of the design and facilities to promote residents’ happiness,” Xuan said.

The affordable housing project also allows residents to join China State Construction and become part of the construction team in roles such as design engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers, surveyors, drivers and management staff. Staff.

Omar is a local electro-mechanical engineer who has been involved in the construction of several housing projects. He has been working on the project site for 10 years.

“I am so proud to be part of the company and to help improve the living conditions of my countrymen,” he said.

According to statistics, the company has provided employment opportunities to more than 27,000 local people, of which the local employment rate of the city of Ouled Fayet exceeds 80%.

China State Construction has been involved in construction in Algeria for nearly 40 years. To date, the company has built more than 170,000 homes in Algeria, covering an area of ​​approximately 17 million square meters. It has solved the housing problems of nearly one million people and in doing so, alleviated the housing shortage and made significant contributions to people’s livelihoods.