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Housing for expatriates in Ethiopia

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After the nationalization of urban land and extra houses in 1975, housing for expatriates was only from the Public Housing and Rental Administration of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

This unit has set up separate housing pools for various organizations and groups employing foreign personnel, including:

• Embassies
• UNDP and UN Agencies
• ECA and
• OAU

Each of these bodies manages the allocation of housing within its own pool according to its own regulations. Housing rules have now facilitated and foreign residents are now allowed to seek housing on the open market.

The UNDP/Agencies pool provides for all UN personnel except ECA. The allotment of accommodation in both the ECA and UNDP/Agencies pool is done firmly on a “first come, first served” basis, depending on the date of entrance in Ethiopia. “Reservations” of housing before arrival is not allowed.

Most housing in Addis Ababa and its vicinity is of good standard. Nearly, all houses and apartments offer basic modern facilities, including hot and cold running water and electricity.

The monthly rent for “Government” apartments ranges from 1200 to 2,600 Birr (US$133 – 289). The rent for houses varies from 1500 to 10,000 Birr (US$167-1,111). A deposit at at least equal to two and three months rent must be paid before a new tenant moves into an apartment or a house, respectively.

Rent expenses are made at the end of the month. The lease between the Public Housing and Rental Administration and the tenant must be renewed every year or more.

Accommodation in other parts of Ethiopia is usually of a poorer quality but also cheaper than in Addis Ababa. The same intricacy and delays in finding housing happen there as well in greater degree.
Keywords: expatriate, housing, house, Ethiopia, Public Housing, Rental Administration, Ministry of Housing, Urban Development, accommodation.

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