The “Murr Floor” Project Returns: The Government Provides no Solution to the Housing Crisis and Increases Speculation on Land Prices

A proposal to amend Article 66 of Law No. 144 (Budget Law).

It has been included in the agenda of the Parliament on 07/12/2021.

It was referred to the Administration and Justice Committee, which finished studying it on 11/09/2021 and submitted it to the General Assembly.

It was referred to the Public Works Committee, which finished studying it on 18/12/2019.

It was placed on the agenda of the 24/09/2019 parliamentary session, and it wasn’t perceived as a priority deed anymore.

Since its formation prior to the October 17 Uprising, the “national unity” government headed by Saad Hariri had focused its efforts on consolidating appropriate ways to cut state spending. In addition to that, the latter endeavored to secure additional revenues to feed into the state treasury and the Public Housing Corporation by turning to the construction sector. It thus unanimously proposed a law that allows for the addition of a new floor to any and all existing or newly built buildings in all Lebanese regions without counting it within the exploitation ratio or the maximum building height. This step is not a precedent in the history of Lebanese legislation, as it is undoubtedly inspired by the so-called “Murr floor” and the “Mikati floor” project.

However, such projects generate increased pressure on infrastructure and transportation networks, and result in serious problems such as increased consumption and exhaustion of electricity, water and road networks, as well as further shortages of parking spaces, apart from a plethora of severe urban and environmental repercussions. The aforementioned law does not identify larger goals or motivations, apart from increasing the influx of profit in any possible way, and without conducting any realistic study of its potential effects. Critically, this reveals a drastic lack of understanding of the principles and conditions of public financial management and the role of the natural and urban environments in crucially supporting the local economy.

Construction Lebanon