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5 million Housing Scheme to be Launched by Pakistan

Dubai: Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to launch on Wednesday his dream project of building 5 million low cost houses for the less-fortunate people in the country.

Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry told reporters in Islamabad on Tuesday that Prime Minister Imran would launch the first phase of Apna Ghar (our home) Housing Scheme on Wednesday in Islamabad.

“The first phase will see the construction of 135,000 houses across the country,” he said.

A dedicated authority called the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) has already been created to manage the project under direct supervision of the Prime Minister.

The first phase will include launching of construction work for houses in Islamabad and Balochistan.

During his election campaign, Imran had promised to build five million housing units to overcome the shortage of affordable housing in the country. The housing scheme will largely be involving the private sector.

“There are 40 industries directly involved with housing. By inviting the private sector into this project we are opening the doors of entrepreneurship for young people,” said Imran.

He said that though constructing five million houses is an enormous task but once initiated, the number of houses being constructed will be increased with each passing year. The project will be carried out in phases.

Housing Finance

The Pakistan government will provide 90 per cent housing finance to deserving people as part of Imran’s flagship project of five million houses in the country.

Last month, Imran already launched a low-cost finance scheme to kick-start the housing project for the poor.

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The project, he said, would also help boost economic activities through the creation of jobs and promote 40 industries connected to construction sector.

Imran said earlier that a huge segment of Pakistan’s population is cash-starved and could not afford to build houses, and that’s why the government is stepping in to help.

Housing units costing less than Rs3 million (Dh80,000) would be funded under the scheme. The banks would provide loan up to Rs2.7 million — 90 per cent of the total amount — under the scheme.

The banks and other financial institutions are being incentivised to extend loans for the scheme.

Special segments

Special segments, including widows, orphans, transgenders, martyrs’ families and people living in war-against-terror hit areas would be given priority under the house financing scheme.

The new housing units could neither be rented out nor sold by the owners. The low-cost financing would be made available to at least 100,000 housing units at the mark-up rate of 5 per cent for 12.5 years.

Currently, Pakistan has a backlog of 10 million housing units and bank financing is a must to achieve the target of constructing five-million low-cost houses.

Ashfaq Ahmed

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