Habitat Unit

DAAD, 2014 – 2017
Salma Khamis

Housing for the Egyptian Middle Classes: An assessment of Housing Policies since 1952

The urban expansion in Cairo has accelerated rapidly since 1952. In the last forty years, Cairo's growth could be defined as a phenomenon of informal urban development (Sims 2003). Recently, Cairo's urban expansion remarkably went in two oppoosing directions – the informal settlements for the low-income groups and the planned gated communities for the business upper class.

Housing the Egyptian Middle Classes 1

Consequently, the gap between the upper and lower classes in Egypt expanded, caused a remarkable lack of middle class housing where their needs have been ignored.

The housing problem in Egypt can be seen as one of the most significant issues regarding the development of the country, and to be more specific, for the urban development. This is due to the magnitude of the housing deficit between supply and demand, as well as a weak economy that withholds the society from receiving adequate habitation.

This thesis aims to address the housing sector in Greater Cairo to learn from the cooperative housing experiences in Berlin by setting a main question: Could the German know-how and experiences of the "shared-ownership" model help solving the housing problem in Egypt, taking into account the needs of the middle class?

The project is funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


Conference Papers

(2014) Housing the Egyptian Middle Class - An Assessment of Housing Policies and their Implementation since 1952 (Conference presentation). 6th International Conference: Responsive Urbanism in Informal Areas, Cairo University

Conference panel chairs

with others (2014) Habitat III - Regional Youth Discussions, Roundtable 3: Housing and Slum upgrading. 6th International Conference: Responsive Urbanism in Informal Areas, Cairo, 25-27 November, 2014



Salma Khamis

Room A 409
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21908
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907