ISLAMABAD: Rental and purchase prices of residential homes and flats in the capital have increased exponentially.
Its been 8 years since the last residential unit was built by the CDA and housing works ministry and rents are now unaffordable for the majority. Potential immigrants are kept out of the capital because of high and ever-increasing rents.
Most of the people living in rented apartments of Islamabad say that their limited budget does not allow them to cover rental cost. The Express Tribune learnt that there is an acute shortage of housing units -- around 58,000 -- and that ministry of housing and works and CDA had planned to build 51,000 residential units in the new sectors by the end of 2009. Not a single one of these has been handed over for use as yet.
Housing Minister Rehmatullah Kakar said, “Around 900 new flats at GT Road Islamabad and 330 flats at Kurry Road are being constructed for government employees to cope with the housing shortage.” About the Master Plan of Islamabad, Kakar said, “A UK-based firm was assigned the task of revising our original Master Plan last year and covering current as well as future development needs of the city.”
“Finding a house on rent or buying one in the federal capital is next to impossible,” Mamoona Naeem, Housing Ministry Public Relations Officer, admitted. “Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation Islamabad and Pakistan Housing Authority are constructing more than 3,000 houses to overcome the shortage,” she added.
Talking to The Express Tribune, CDA Deputy Director Land Muhammad Hussain Chatha admitted that the city managers are facing difficulties in overcoming the acute shortage of residential units. “Chairman CDA Imtiaz Inayat Elahi will meet the prime minister as well as housing and works minister to discuss the matter soon,” said CDA Director Public Relations Muhammad Asim Khichi.
According to figures provided by the authorities, if development projects in Sectors E-12, D-12, I-14, 1-15, 1-16, G-7, G-13 and E-11 are completed, 58,000 new residential units will become available. Meanwhile, CDA Director Housing Societies Planning Wing, Ghulam Sarwar Sandhu said 5,000 new residential units will be set up for the people of kachi abadis (slum areas) but did not give a timeframe.
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