The Need for Affordable Housing in Bangladesh

As the Population Density of Bangladesh is ever-increasing, the need for a proper accommodation planning is a pressing concern in our country. According to the German Database Company, Statistica, the number of households in Bangladesh by 2021 is forecasted to be 35.2 million. Among these people, around 80% people do not own a permanent residence, that is, they do not have their own home. Moreover, recent studies state that, around 5 million people of Bangladesh do not have a place to reside. With the steep increase in House Rent Percentage, along with the other issues discussed here, the it can be concluded unanimously that, Affordable Housing is the optimum solution on this regard.

Majority of the citizens of Bangladesh are renting their dwelling place and according to the study conducted Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) the average rent has increased by around 9 percent last year alone. Nevertheless, renting an apartment is still the preferred option for many as Housing Price is unbearable for most. In this situation, to make the Affordable Housing Project a successful venture, we would need to work out from different aspects, including, Value Engineering to lower the Construction and Material Cost, a bridge or collaboration between the private and public sectors, Well organized source of finance with the inclusion of investors, Psychographic contexts and Technological Integration.

The Major contributing factors for Housing Price to be so expensive is because of the high Land Price and overpriced signing money amount. To solve this, the Policies on Standard Land Price Rate at different locations needs to be revised and smooth so that both the parties are facilitated. This means that both the Government and Private Sectors need to participate and collaborate to obtain the best outcome. Obtaining the required Land Area for Affordable Housing Construction might not always be cost effective for Private sectors all time. There are a lot of Government Domains or Khas Land which can be used in this case for this project. It is a priority for the Government to keep the price of houses at affordable range so that consumers can purchase or invest here with ease.

A Research and Development Wing is crucial to carry out Value Engineering of the Affordable Housing Project so that the total cost of Construction and Materials used can be reduced. There are numerous examples of organizations and companies all over the globe who have successfully carried out such research works, like the Brick Eagle Group in India, or the Singapore based company Ethis. Proper Architectural Designs and Planned Constructions can contribute in lowering the cost of Making the house. Incorporating all the necessary facilities essential in a house within the given space is an architectural challenge. In countries like Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore and even Australia and USA, there is a high demand in Studio Houses although these houses can range from as low as 150 square feet to 500 square feet! Ingenious architectural design ensures that these houses are not deprived of any required facilities within this small area. But, since the built-up area is smaller, thus, the overall cost is decreased. Similarly, with the use of innovative construction materials and re-engineering the Construction Cost can also be lowered.

Funding is the most vital Part of the Affordable Housing Project, and already there are Financial Institutions working in this sector. Most notably, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is already operating in India with the Low-Cost Affordable Housing Finance to Provide Loans to expand its reach into some of the country’s least developed states. In Bangladesh a competitively structured housing finance scheme is a necessity to increase affordability of houses for the lower to upper middle class Groups. Additionally, investors and business owners need to be encouraged to provide various services to local developers. This can be direct in terms of monetary investments to services offered like, Marketing and Sales, Project Management, Legal Support, Community Building and many more. Crowdfunding is a crucial factor here, and such examples are prevalent in Australia, Indonesia, Dubai, India and other countries. Crowdfunding investments in Real Estate is at its emerging stage in many countries it has potential to revolutionize the way in which individuals invest in Real Estate as well as how business raise capitals for their projects.

The word ‘Housing’ implies a collection of Houses or Flats indicating towards Community Living in some cases. When a group of people are living together, sharing the common needs and facilities, undoubtedly the total cost is reduced. The City Life of Dhaka has caused a lot of families to be socially isolated although living in a very close proximity. In this regard, Psychologists, Community Builders, Social Workers can work together to revive Community Living Practice among the City Dwellers. Shared Community Spaces, Shared Kitchen or Laundry Rooms are some of ways how Space inside a House can be reduced, lowering the cost and strengthening the bond between the community. It is significant that like-minded people is brought together to build such communities which will benefit all.

Innovative Solutions to increase affordability by reducing construction complexity and time and thus driving down the cost are vital to this Project. The use of appropriate technologies and innovative solutions should help to break new grounds in the Housing Industry and thus, profit everyone. Technological Integration is much needed as among many advantages, it helps to reduce the time of Construction, increases efficiency during Construction and makes the Project Energy Efficient, all of which contributes in reducing the Cost and thus making a House affordable to the Consumers. Proper facilities Management can also reduce the maintenance cost of the Buildings and Facilities.

It is true that communities Worldwide are suffering with the Housing Affordability crisis. To turn Affordable Housing a fruitful and lucrative Project in Bangladesh there needs to be an integrated participatory approach from all sectors. A lot of Research has already been made by both Local and Foreign Organizations and it needs to be an Ongoing Venture. With everyone’s joint effort, it is possible to solve this crisis in Bangladesh so that a holistic solution is provided for all.

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