History of Affordable Housing in Pakistan
Affordable housing in Pakistan
Affordable housing in Pakistan is defined as, the housing which is accessible to general public at low price as compared to the open market. The affordable housing in Pakistan includes the no-profit and no-loss housing by the government and also by the private housing developers who sold housing at low price.
History of Affordable Housing
Al Azam Construction Company in 1960’s initiated the first move towards the affordable housing in Pakistan. The company started the low-cost housing societies without getting high profits. The aim was to provide the housing to the low-income people at a low price. In 1970’s Rukunudin Construction company and in 1980’s Abdi construction company also initiated the low-cost housing schemes to help the low income people to get housing at affordable rates.
The other great effort to provide the affordable housing in Pakistan was started by the former Director General of Hyderabad Development Authority, Sindh, Pakistan in 1986. The project is called as Khuda-ki-Basti or God’s settlement. The idea was to settle people before the settlement of the infrastructure like sewerage, gas, electricity and roads. The local people collected the revenue and also got the help from different organizations like the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to develop the infrastructure. This housing scheme was completed in about ten years.
In 1990’s private companies started providing the low cost housing schemes on installments. The idea is to pay the monthly installments, and after five years the companies will first allocate the plot and then after five years will construct the house. These housing schemes are very successful in Pakistan as people can afford to buy homes at low monthly installments. The most famous housing scheme of this kind is Bahria Town and Izhar Monnoo housing.
In 2001 the government of Pakistan made the first move towards the housing policies in Pakistan. This policy is also called as the National Housing Policy 2001. In this policy the government emphasized to provide the incentives for the home ownership, land development and cost- effective construction and housing so that middle and low-income people can access to the affordable housing. In 2005 the government of Pakistan also promised to provide the loans for the people who want to develop their lands or want to buy the homes. Recently in 2012, the provincial government of Punjab, developed the affordable housing called as, Ashiana Housing Scheme, and also distributed the plots to the poor people.
It can be concluded that in Pakistan the government and some private housing & construction companies tried to provide the affordable housing by selling the housing at low prices as compared to the open market. But these efforts are on very small scale and general public couldn’t benefit these great efforts. Therefore, we need to start developing housing schemes at large scale to increase the home ownership and to decrease the housing crisis in Pakistan. We also need to start housing benefits for the people who cannot afford rents.