Five Million Low-Cost Homes To Be Built By Student Architects In Pakistan

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On Thursday, a senior government official announced a plan to construct five million affordable homes, within five years in Pakistan. This will tap the student architects and the construction will be done by using local material and newest technologies, to cut down cost.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced the building of 4 million homes in rural and urban areas and one million in peri-urban areas over the course of five years.
This is the biggest housing program ever attempted by the government, it will meet about 50% of Pakistan’s needs, as per Zaighan Rizvi, chairman of the federal task force on housing.

“Affordable housing is not just an issue in poor countries; it is an issue in nearly every country,”- Zaighan Rizvi said on the sidelines of a housing forum in Bangkok.

“But the promise of ‘housing for all’ is usually nothing more than a political slogan, and rarely implemented because of a lack of will or because the institutional framework is lacking,” – he stated.

By the year 2030, more than half of Pakistan’s targeted 250 million citizens will be living in cities, as compared to the 36% now, as per UN (United Nations).

As per the Asian Development Bank, about a quarter of Pakistan’s population lives below the poverty line. As per Mr. Zaighan, Pakistani authorities are developing a number of pilot villages in Punjab, which is the country’s most populated province.

The homes are designed by student architects, which will use technology and local material. This will help in cutting down the cost while taking the cultural and geographical requirements into consideration.

“We want to engage the youth in solving the nation’s problems. In the village, they are not used to high-rise buildings, so they will be at most one-story buildings,” – he said while talking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Similarly, most homes keep cattle, so there will be a common area to keep them,” Rizvi continued.

He hopes that the pilot projects will be increased, once successful. He also added that several local and foreign departments are determined to build low-cost homes. The government will sketch out financial schemes for those who want to own a house but don’t have bank accounts or stable earning.

This continuous growth in a number of cities in Pakistan will hopefully accelerate the turning of farmland into build-up land. Earlier in 2019, Imran Khan forbade the use of farmland into new housing.

“With increasing urbanization and migration, housing has to be a critical part of urban planning. Otherwise, we risk neglecting the needs of millions of vulnerable people,” he said.

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