Saudi Arabia has set up a ministry for housing, the kingdom's state news agency said on Friday, as the world's largest oil exporter seeks to address huge demand for new homes.
The Gulf nation is facing a massive housing problem due to rapid population growth and an inflow of expatriate workers coming to the kingdom.
A report by Banque Saudi Fransi last week said private and public developers need to build about 275,000 units a year through 2015 to meet the country's demands for about 1.65 million new homes.
Shwaish bin Saud al-Duwaihi al-Mutairi was appointed minister of housing, it said in a statement without giving further details.
Last week King Abdullah announced $93 billion in social handouts which included 250 billion riyals ($66.7 billion) to be spent on 500,000 new homes.