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CNL hold the key to Algeria’s social housing needs

Article - June 28, 2012
The Algerian government has embarked on a major town-planning initiative aimed at creating 2 million new homes by the end of its current five-year plan spanning 2010-2014
The National Housing Fund (CNL) is one of the tools it is using to achieve this ambitious target.

“Any financial process is passed by the CNL,” says Noureddine Moussa, Minister for Housing and Urban Development. “The CNL reports to the Ministry and is the accountant of the sector. It acts like a bank and also guarantees the traceability of public expenses.”

Our work ultimately contributes to a system of social justice.

Mohamed Ourak, CEO of CNL
All Algerians are entitled to help in accessing sustainable housing, which is means tested according to their income. Some applicants, for instance, need only nominal financial aid to help them secure a loan from a bank. Others may seek more substantial help to move to a bigger or more modern home.

Involved as the first step in the government plan, the CNL contributes to Algeria’s social housing stock by providing financial assistance to the population. Its funds finance three types of housing: 70 per cent for state housing, 20 per cent for rural housing, and 10 per cent for participative social housing.

Established in 1991, the CNL has 1,300 employees covering all 48 wilayas, or provinces. Its objective for the years to come is to sustain its auto-financing. “Our strength is our cash flow, enabling us to follow, manage and finance projects for one to two years. We have a lot of bank accounts. We work with a lot of banks, so we can secure cash flows. At the end of 2011 they totalled 260 billion dinars (£2.14 billion), so it is quite important and we can secure all the projects being signed off now until 2017,” says Mohamed Ourak, CEO of the CNL.

He adds: “There are obviously some rules and regulations within the CNL to follow in order to benefit from these advantages. We want to make sure that as we are involved in social housing, everyone who is eligible for our services can benefit from us on a fair basis. Therefore part of our work is to control the potential beneficiaries of our services. Since the launch of the CNL, we have created a central database enabling us to manage each beneficiary’s file, so that only the relevant and eligible candidates benefit. Our work ultimately contributes to a system of social justice.”

CNL has also put in place arrangements with certain banks that offer citizens the opportunity to couple government aid with a bank loan. For example, if the government injects 700,000 dinars (£5,760) into a citizen’s housing project, who is also adding his own money to the scheme, he will see his house built and view it as a long-term investment, and even consider extending it in the future. This mindset will help to create consistent and modern homes – especially now that most areas in Algeria benefit from all modern utilities, such as water, electricity and gas.

By encouraging new, energy and water-efficient homes, CNL is creating environmentally friendly communities for the benefit of everyone.