The promise by the Iran regime’s President Ebrahim Raisi to construct 4 million housing units within a four-year timeframe is now under scrutiny, as a recent report from the regime’s Parliament Research Center sheds light on eight distinct forms of homelessness within Iran during the rule of the mullahs. This report raises the question: Is the lack of housing a result of policy failure or a deeper governance issue?
A thorough examination of the income, expenditures, and exceptional costs incurred during the tenure of this regime casts doubt on the feasibility of Raisi’s ambitious housing agenda. Two years have elapsed since the start of his term, during which his administration has strived to portray the promise’s fulfillment through the presentation of numerical data, despite the evident shortcomings.
However, it requires no statistical evidence to assess the housing situation across various Iranian cities. The populace of Iran has palpably experienced the deterioration of housing conditions over the past two years, a reality that even the regime’s state-run media has not overlooked. Within the circle of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, some have expressed discontent and criticism regarding the failure of Raisi’s housing initiative.
For instance, the newspaper “Islamic Republic” (Jomhuri Eslami), directly owned by Khamenei, has openly acknowledged this failure in an article titled “Society’s Apprehensions about 8 Manifestations of Homelessness.” In this piece, the newspaper candidly states, “We have faltered. This candid and succinct statement encapsulates our present predicament.”
The newspaper cites a report by the regime Parliament’s Research Center titled “Assessment of the Seventh Development Plan with Regard to Housing Provision for Low-Income and Vulnerable Groups.” The report illuminates the prevalence of eight diverse forms of homelessness among Iranian citizens, resulting in a multifaceted housing crisis.
By detailing examples of these forms, such as sleeping on rooftops, in engine rooms, cars, graves, buses, and sharing homes or seeking refuge in temporary jobs, the article underscores the gravity of the situation. The report questions, “Can we overlook situations where two or more families share a single apartment?”
Notably, the regime Parliament’s Research Center has categorized the above scenarios as “indicative of the profound shortcomings of the nation’s housing system in catering to diverse demographics.”
The exacerbation of this situation and the housing predicament within the regime has been underscored by the Government Council Research Center’s report. This report reveals that between 2011 and 2016, around 3.5 million housing units were constructed, yet during the same period, 2.5 million households were added to the tenant population.
Furthermore, the report discloses that the “Seventh Development Program” of the regime entirely disregarded the issue of homelessness among Iranian households. No provisions were made to support at-risk households, nor was stable housing for the homeless prioritized.
The newspaper “Entekhab” similarly remarked on the Majlis Research Center’s findings, stating that an “official report” unveiled the failure of housing policies from the perspective of both tenant and homeless households.
This official publication also acknowledges the shortcomings and “political divergences” between the “Million Housing Plan” and the “Tehran Municipal Housing Jihadi Camp.”
While the Majlis Research Center’s report and the state-run media have focused on housing failures, it is evident that the overarching issue is the governance failure of the regime to provide fundamental necessities for households. This failure extends beyond housing, contradicting the regime’s initial promise upon assuming power to ensure every citizen’s home ownership.
The reliance on empty slogans and unfulfilled promises appears to be built upon a foundation of illusions. This pattern has persisted from the era of Khomeini to Khamenei, and now with Raisi and his associates.