The Urban Unit presented options on low cost sustainable housing schemes across Punjab, to the Punjab Housing Minister Mian Mahmood ur Rasheed, in a follow up meeting in response to minister’s directions to prepare a feasibility plan of 5 Million Houses under Prime Minister’s initiative. The presentation included design options, construction details, construction material choices, identification of cities with acute shortage of housing for poor and types of 3 -5 marla houses/apartments for homeless people in Punjab. The meeting was chaired by Punjab Minister for Housing at the Urban Unit whereas Vice Chairman Lahore Development Authority S.M. Imran, CEO Urban Unit Mr. Salman Hashmi, COO Mr. Abid Hussaini and senior Team of Urban Unit also participated in the discussion.
Ms. Nadia Qureshi, Senior Specialist Urban Architecture presented the proposed vertically expanded small units in 4-storey buildings, in order to make optimum use of the space available. She also shared design structure and its financial costing models along with details of per unit scale inclusive of development charges on state owned land. The Urban Unit shared comprehensive construction models of small houses and apartments in Sialkot, Chiniot, Lodhran, Okara and Renala Khurd while proposing 20 percent subsidy for the poor. The Unit’s urban planning team asserted that the homework done on details of construction can bring down the per unit rate to as low as 8 lakhs to 14 lakh rupees – that will be quite affordable for low income class. The Khuda ki Basti in Hyderabad was presented as a successful case study before Punjab government sets out for construction phase. The Unit stressed on the need to mobilize PHATA for implementation as being the primary agency the execution will be its mandate while Urban unit will be offering complete technical and strategic assistance where and when required.
“The Urban Unit has come up with some exceptional designs and feasibility of low cost housing options which is very much commendable. We will initiate this housing plan by offering 3-5 Marla low cost residences in the beginning in Faisalabad and Multan first, and after feedback the scheme will be replicated in the rest of Punjab. The focus is to facilitate those who cannot think of owning their house even after years of struggle; since housing is not only a necessity but also a basic right of every citizen. Government will offer land to the private developers, companies and investors on subsidized rates, and they will build homes on that state owned land. Whereas, the suggestion of making New Pakistan Housing Authority is also under consideration which will complete the all official working for private developers maximum within 90 days under one-window operation. For financial feasibility, negotiations with Bank of Punjab, Meezan Bank and House Building Finance Corporations, are underway’’, told the Minister while talking to media.
He added that Government will provide complete structured houses, and in first week of January 2019, Prime Minster will officially announce this plan. An authority will also be established for this purpose which will be headed by Prime Minister himself.