The Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA), on the directions of the federal government, has decided to launch two new housing projects for federal government employees in Sectors I12 and I16 of the capital. PHA official said the authority was committed to developing new residential projects for government employees and solving their residential problems. He said the PHA would offer residential apartments in Sector I-16 for lower income employees of grade 1 to 16 and in I-12 for grade 17 to 19 employees.
Land for the development of these high-rise apartments had been acquired from the CDA and the authority had paid more than 50 percent payment for the development of I-12 apartments, he added. He said after fulfilling legal formalities, these projects would be launched as soon as possible.
He said the government had already taken initiatives to streamline the PHA affairs and given a target to complete the on-going projects in a transparent manner.
Citizens decry unaffordable housing
Unaffordable house rents in the twin cities are creating problems for residents, students and people belonging to the working class.
The increasing demand for residential accommodation and the prices of rental housing in the cities are not according to the size or quality of houses.
Hanif Arshaf, a property dealer, said the demand for housing had increased with the onset of winter and influx of people from hill stations like Murree, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to the twin cities. He said the dealers earn maximum profits in this season.
The houses in the posh sectors are already unaffordable for the middle class citizens.
Mohsin Ali, a student living in F6, said taking advantage of his helplessness, the landlord was demanding more rent from him. He said he had no other option but to live in a single room as the twin cities had no proper accommodation facilities for the working class people and students.
Another property dealer, Bashir Ahmed, informed that rents in VIP sectors were around Rs 56,000 to 80,000, adding that in other sectors of the capital, they ranged between Rs 35,000 and 50,000. He said most of the people preferred to live in flats due to security issues and the owners of residential plazas were increasing the rents. “The hostels are also engaged in the money-making spree without providing proper facilities to their inhabitants,” he added.
Amir Saleem, a student, said, “We had been lodging at the university hostel after paying Rs 4,000 per month but after completion of study, we would be unable to find accommodation in the twin cities.”
He said rents had skyrocketed in the last three to four years due to inflation but the situation gets worse when people from hilly areas arrive and pay rents in advance, leaving no place for students. Citizens have demanded the government construct private hostels for the people, coming to the capital from far-flung areas to find job, study or for business. “Lack of hostel facilities in the capital and sometimes in the universities force them to shuttle between the twin cities,” he added.
According to a CDA official, the housing rents would decrease once the authority develops new residential sectors. He said the civic body was in the process of acquiring land. app