Study: Half a Million Homes Destroyed in Syria

A study relying on real estate statistics and published in Al-Watan estimates that rebuilding the more than half a million damaged homes in Syria would cost about $68 billion, Ziad Haydar writes.

Topics covered

syrian, reconstruction, infrastructures

May 3, 2013

A privately funded study found that the number of housing units that were destroyed throughout Syria as of a month ago stands at about 535,000 and valued at about $68 billion, causing the displacement of nearly three million people.

The study was prepared by real estate expert Ammar Youssef and published in the private Syrian newspaper Al-Watan yesterday [April 30]. It estimated that the number of damaged homes reached “half a million,” of which about 390,000 are destroyed. Rebuilding those homes would cost $60 billion. In less than a year, more than 100,000 homes were destroyed and rebuilding them would cost about $8 billion.

The study estimated that some structures housed three families on average. Those structures were in the cities and slums, from where many were displaced. About 700,000 families, or nearly 2.8 million people, have no place to return to. They live in shelters, with relatives, or in rented apartments.

Structures that suffered some damage number about 475,000. The damages ranged from broken windows to partial collapse that is repairable.

The study made a separate category for dwellings that were not damaged and are still inhabited, but where the residents are having trouble securing basic life necessities. Those dwellings number at least about 850,000 and are located in most Syrian cities experiencing unrest. They are mostly in urban centers, such as Aleppo, Deir el-Zour, Hasakah, and Raqqa. Those cities are also receiving displaced persons from areas with damaged water, electricity, telephone and sewage infrastructure.

The head of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Abdullah Dardari, previously revealed that in Syria 400,000 homes were destroyed and 300,000 homes were severely damaged, and that half a million homes lack the necessary infrastructure. He stressed that if the violence in Syria stopped today, the cost of rebuilding the economy and infrastructure would be $80 billion.

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