Affordable housing provision is one of the visions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as highlighted in Vision 2030. For about 21 months now, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has ravaged the world and has increased the level of economic crisis and financial uncertainty to achieve planned projects. Studies investigating the reality of how the COVID-19 pandemic may streamline the chances of achieving affordable housing for all in 2030 are scarce. Thus, this study examined the relevance of affordable housing, the perceived impact of COVID-19 on affordable housing and proffered measures to promote affordable housing finance in Vision 2030.
Medina, Riyadh and Al Qassim were the participants' cities engaged via panel interviews and supported by existing relevant Vision 2030 documents. The Delphi method was adopted to explore the government officials, financial operators (bankers), academicians and employees' opinions, and the analysed data presented in themes.
Findings show that SA Vision 2030 blueprint expresses an exemplary country in all ramifications, including affordable housing finance for the citizens. Findings reveal that the COVID-19 pandemic threatens SA affordable housing finance Vision 2030. The increased housing shortage, high construction housing cost, increased foreclosures, increased eviction, possible homelessness, financial instability and vulnerability emerged as the perceived impact of COVID-19 on affordable housing finance in Vision 2030. Refinancing housing loans to boost Vision 2030, forbearance to promote Vision 2030, improve payment relief, among others, emerged as measures to promote affordable housing in the post-COVID-19 era.
The research only identified the possible negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on affordable housing finance in Vision 2030 and proffered policy solutions from the engaged participants' perspective. Also, the study covered three cities (Medina, Riyadh and Al Qassim). The suggestions that will emerge from this research may be adopted to address other sectors captured in Vision 2030 that are critical and hit by the ravaging pandemic.
Measures such as refinancing mortgages and strengthening government housing agencies will promote affordable housing for Vision 2030 if the relevant policymakers and mortgage institutions are well implemented.
This research identified the perceived early threats from the COVID-19 pandemic that could affect affordable housing transformation in Vision 2030 from the participants' perspective. Studies regarding COVID-19 and affordable housing in Vision 2030 are very few.
Alharbi, R. (2022), "An appraisal of the early impact of COVID-19 on affordable housing finance in Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-12-2021-0169
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