ISLAMABAD (ENNS) Provision of low-cost housings units for the poor segments of society, homeless and low-earning class as announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan, finally entered into the next phase as construction on these units has kick-started in the Federal Capital under the government’s mega social security flagship Ehsaas programme.
Under the project, the government, is said to have managed the financing for the applicants by involving some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who would extend loans to the people, sources added.
A non-governmental organization had already started the loaning process as in the first tranche, Rs 7.35 million had been disbursed so far among 31 applicants to help them bear the cost of the unit, the official source added.
The federal government in cooperation with the State Bank of Pakistan was also in the process of making legislation to enable the banks extend housing loans to the poor people who were so far deprived of the facility.
According to official website of Division of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, under such housing initiatives, Ehsaas also envisaged construction of homes for 10,000 orphans, setting up of Panah-gahs in several major cities and a housing scheme for the poor (including landless farmers) through interest free loans.
The “Ehsaas” programme, with the objective to reduce inequality, invest in people and lift backward districts, hinged over creation of a ‘welfare state’ as pronounced by the prime minister.
The Ehsaas’ poverty reduction strategy were based upon four pillars and it currently embodied more than hundred policy actions including provision of low costing houses to the poor and setting up shelter houses.
The programme was launched for the extreme poor, orphans, widows, homeless, disabled, jobless, poor farmers, labourers, sick and undernourished, students from low-income backgrounds and the elderly citizens.
Currently, the house financing facility in Pakistan is just 0.2 per cent while it is 10 per cent in India, 30 per cent in Malaysia and 80 per cent in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Besides, under the Naya Pakistan housing scheme, in the first phase, 135,000 housing units were planned across the country. In the initial phase of the scheme, 110,000 housing units would be constructed in Balochistan for the fishermen and the government employees whereas 25,000 units would be built in Islamabad and Rawalpindi at four sites for the government employees.
According to official data of the ministry of housing and works, there was a shortfall of over 10 million houses in the country, and every year, additional demands for residences added to this backlog.
The incumbent government intended to promote access to housing and jump start the housing sector as it had set target to provide 5 million houses to the homeless people of the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had already launched a low-cost finance scheme to kick-start the affordable housing project for the poor. It was expected that the unprecedented mega projects would generate economic activities through jobs creation and promotion of 40 allied industries in the construction sector.
The low-cost housing scheme had also received an overwhelming response.