Pakistan Housing Standards
Pakistan Housing is in poor condition. 60% of the housing stock in Pakistan has passed its use able life and needs to be replaced. Most houses in the rural areas are made of mud and are prone to hazards. 40 million Pakistanis have no basic facilities like toilet. Many houses have no proper kitchen, living room and bed room. 30% houses have no natural light & ventilation. Pakistan lacks proper sewerage system, as we are in the process of laying sewerage network. Slum dwellings can be seen in the all major cities of Pakistan. Although well-built housing is also available in Pakistan, but only rich people can afford to live in these housing schemes. In general, Pakistan Housing is in bad condition due to the lack of minimum or decent housing standards.
Causes of poor housing standards in Pakistan
Fast population growth
Pakistan’s population was 40 million in 1947, but now its population is more than 200 million. Due to the rising population Pakistan is facing the housing shortage. According to the statement issued in January 2015 by the State Bank of Pakistan, ‘Pakistan housing shortage is now 9 million’. Pakistan needs 1 million new homes every year to solve the housing shortage. This increase in population has also great impact on the housing standards in Pakistan which are declining day by day.
High inflation rate
Pakistan has seen high inflation rate in the last decade, due to which people are forced to live hand to mouth. In the last decade, salary has increased by 3 times but house price has increased by 5 times. Average salary in Pakistan is 300,000 PAK Rupees, whereas average house price is 5,000,000 PAK Rupees. This ratio is above the word’s affordable house price level. Due to the high inflation rate, it’s hard for a common Pakistani to buy, renovate or upgrade their homes. Therefore, Pakistan housing standards are also declining due to the fast inflation rate.
No housing assistance
There is no housing assistance from the government of Pakistan to provide decent homes. Ashiana Housing Scheme is although a great effort by the government of Punjab to provide affordable & decent housing, but only few people could benefit it. Similarly, bank financing for homes is very low in Pakistan. Just 4-5% people get home loans from the banks. The major reason of low home financing is the high interest rates on loans which make loans unaffordable. Due to the absence of bank financing and government assistance, Pakistan housing standards are declining.
Measures to improve housing standards in Pakistan
Housing standards in Pakistan can be improved by taking the following initiatives. Firstly, we need to control the fast population growth in Pakistan. Unless we control our population, housing standards in Pakistan will keep on declining. Secondly, Government of Pakistan should build decent homes for the poor people who cannot even afford rents. Thirdly, government should start decent home allowances for the people who own homes but cannot renovate or upgrade their homes due to the lack of funds. Finally, Bank financing for homes should be increased. Interest rates on home loans should be decreased so those loans become cheap. Unless we take these measures, Pakistan housing standards will keep on declining.