The Business Year

Mohammad S. Albuty CEO, National Housing Company (NHC)

SAUDI ARABIA - Real Estate & Construction

Mohammad S. Albuty

CEO, National Housing Company (NHC)

Bio

Mohammad S. Albuty is CEO of National Housing Company (NHC).

“Introducing a new way of living and enhancing the quality of life is part of our vision: we want to enhance the quality of life that people will have in the community we are developing.”
NHC is working to increase the real estate supply in the country to help the Kingdom achieve the objectives of the Housing Program, one of the Vision 2030 programs.

Can you share the highlights achieved by NHC over the last few years?

The company was established in 2017, and after its initiation, we immediately started to mobilize our resources, design our structure, and implement our policies and procedures. Since the beginning, our mandate and objective have remained the same: we are here to meet the country’s housing needs. In the first phase, we successfully built the capability and, at the same time, started delivering housing solutions, playing a vital role for the development of the ecosystem. We hit all the set targets of the national housing program, and the company has met all the objectives to be achieved by the end of 2020. Starting in 2018, we sustained our operations and started to deliver units. Today, we have more than 183 projects. We are working with more than 160 developers and contractors. We are an enabler and an activator: we call ourselves a national real estate enabler and not a simple developer. This concept lays the foundations of our activity, our strategy, and our approach to the ecosystem. By being an enabler, we are in the market not to compete, but to enrich the sector we are operating in; that is the reason why we work with other developers. Our activity is based on the concepts of speed, efficiency, and quality. We want to have as many engines as we can to take part in the race to Vision 2030. The government supports us by allocating land, after which we started developing a master plan for the land. Then, we qualify the contractors and the developers, establish an ecosystem and platform to connect all the stakeholders, and ensure the initial financing for the project before then start selling the project to end users or beneficiaries. In the first phase of the housing program, we received funds from the government. In the second phase, such subsidies have been stopped. Therefore, the company itself became the entity responsible for providing the initial finance for the project and working with the developers, and we have succeeded in all other projects, with more than 116,600 units currently under construction in partnership with more than 112 developers valued at SAR80 billion covering 19 cities. It is clear that we have established the company as a fully autonomous and efficient institution within the sector. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing recently signed an agreement with NHC to develop the infrastructure of several lands in various cities around the Kingdom.

What are the implications of this milestone?

The agreement provides more than 150,000 housing units with a variety of spaces and designs within 11 cities in the Kingdom. The agreement also covers an area of more than 90 million sqm. In comparison, approximately 54 million sqm will be allocated for green and open spaces, public utilities, road networks, and public transport, noting that the population capacity resulting from this agreement will reach 750,000 people. In partnership with developers, NHC will invest more than SAR40 billion in the portfolio of these projects to develop comprehensive infrastructure, deliver services, and a range of quality-of-life facilities. It is worth mentioning that NHC is the leading company and enabler of the real estate development sector and the most prominent master developer of suburbs and residential communities characterized by the quality of life. The company aims to increase the real estate supply in the Kingdom with a variety of housing options as part of the company’s endeavor to achieve the objectives of the Housing Program, one of the Vision 2030 programs, by raising the proportion of residential ownership of Saudi families to 70%.

How is NHC positioned to introduce a new way of living in Saudi Arabia, and how do you support the adoption of modern, human-centered, and innovative concepts?

Introducing a new way of living and enhancing the quality of life is part of our vision: we want to enhance the quality of life that people will have in the community we are developing. During the designing and master planning phase, we consider the quality of life, usability, and workability in our communities. We design it as a community, and not just clusters or boxes. We usually assign 50% of the land to public roads and parks and not sellable areas. We also designed all the clusters to make them pedestrian friendly. Within a five-minute walk, residents can reach a hub or other communities in the cluster. Residents living in the community can walk, socialize, and build a society within the community. We consider it the master plan of the community. We are now undergoing the construction of a new cluster in North Riyadh. It measures 30 million sqm, with almost 6 million sqm in parks, larger than Central Park in Manhattan. This will immediately enhance the lifestyle of the community living there. We are inspired by the Crown Prince’s vision, who has decreed that land allocated by the government to develop projects must have a positive impact on people’s lives. We are translating all this as part of that vision.

Can you shed some light on Sakani Program, and what are its peculiarities, and how does it provide housing and financing solutions that meet the needs of citizens?

Sakani is a platform where we reengineered the process of eligibility to provide a wide range of services to beneficiaries and even non-beneficiaries. In the past, to receive government support, you had to apply for the process, and it took an average of six months to determine if you are eligible. Today, everything is instant. We have built a solid network with 17 banks and mortgage institutions so one can even apply for finance through Sakani or look through all the projects. Sakani has turned into a commercial platform, a hub for all stakeholders, banks, beneficiaries, developers, service providers, and material providers. It is a hub marketplace. We have seen a great demand for Sakani, and now we even have banks paying us to advertise on the app. We have contracts with the two biggest banks in Saudi. Sakani is a success story that we are extremely proud of.

What are your short-term objectives and key priorities?

We simply want to elevate the quality of life of the people living in our communities. We also want to continue growing not as a simple developer, but as a one-stop-shop and the enabler that expresses the potential of the sector.

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