The program offers land to developers at cut-rate prices if they sell some floors of the apartments to families from the slums below market price. Loans are made easier and the families receive grants to help them pay. For a country with limited financial resources, the program has become a success story for the government.
“It was a priority of the nation because the slums were a black stain on Morocco,” said Ahmed Taoufiq Hejira, the housing minister. “The people of the slums are not people who don’t matter. They are not a separate category. The slums are an interest of all Moroccans.”
“It’s not easy, we’ve chosen a difficult problem,” he said
But Mr. Hejira said Morocco was on track to meet its goal of a slum-free country by 2012 if all partners in the program continued to work together.
Driving through these neighborhoods, change is visible. New buildings are springing up. Children play on fields awaiting construction where slums have been cleared. During the past decade, Morocco has decreased poverty drastically and the slums are shrinking.
“As of May 2011, 43 cities have been declared Cities Without Slums,” said Fatna Chihab, director of social housing at the Housing and Urban Planning Ministry.
cf: Cities without slums (Conference) Al Omran, M. Badre Kanouni, African Conference of Housing and Urban Development (AMCHUD) , Prix d’honneur Habitat Award 2010 - UN/UNHABITAT