Suvastu Properties Ltd

Affordable Housing in Bangladesh and an Innovative Approach

Introduction

To start off our topic on ‘Affordable Housing’ let us look at a famous theory ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ which was created by the renowned American Psychologist, Abraham Maslow. The five-level model represents innate human needs in a priority-based order. The important point to consider here is that, in the section for Basic Needs, he has placed food, water, clothing, shelter, rest, safety, and security; and evidently four out of these seven points can be ensured through a place to live. Thus, this strengthens the point as to how significant and crucial is the need for Housing in our lives.

Despite the obvious indications, according to data from various sources, it has been found that in Bangladesh, approximately 80 percent of urban dwellings are not permanent, that is, this population segment does not own a home and either stays in rented properties, sublet units, hostels, lodging and so on. Although the GDP of Bangladesh is increasing at a remarkable rate, this deficiency still prevails in the Housing Sector, especially among the mid-income and lower mid-income Groups of our country.

Affordable Housing: Breakdown

It has been agreed upon unanimously that the best solution to this predicament is to shift towards ‘Affordable Housing’. Countless research papers, articles, in-depth and data-driven analyses, and many more from both national and international organizations, have been published on this subject matter. Even though the general definition of Affordable Housing is to provide Housing Solutions so that they are affordable to the mid-income households, however, there is a deeper meaning to it and to understand this concept better, let us break down the two keywords.

‘Affordable’ is a relative term. The very item which can be affordable to a certain person, or a group will not be affordable to many others. A home considered to be luxurious and expensive by many can be easily affordable to certain people. Therefore, to provide an affordable living space to a certain group focused and intensive market research must be carried out to meet their requirements.

Next, let us notice that the word ‘Housing’ is used instead of just ‘House’. Housing implies a collection of Houses or Flats indicating Community Living in some cases. When a group of people is living together, sharing common needs and facilities, undoubtedly the total cost is reduced.

The Need for Affordable Housing

According to the study conducted Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) the average rent has increased by around 9 percent last year and it had more than doubled (almost 250 percent!) within a period of 17 years.

On the other hand, data from World Population Review shows that the population of Dhaka is over 21 million in the year 2020, with a projected growth to more than 28 million by the year 2030.

In addition to these, the supply of houses, apartments etc. cannot meet the increasing demand. A recent study in 2017 stated that the private sector can provide 25,000 units of housing per year which is not enough to satisfy an estimated growing demand of around 120,000 units per year.

All these signify the importance of, and so, the necessity and urgency for proper planning and implementation of ‘Affordable Housing’, in the Real Estate Industry of Bangladesh. Crowdfunding in Real Estate can play an important role in this regard.

An Innovative Step by Suvastu Properties Ltd.

The Research and Development Division of Suvastu Properties Ltd. guided by the Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Amit Chakrabortty, is working on an innovative approach in this matter, which is, ‘Affordable Luxury’. Referring back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, once the Basic Needs are satisfied, then a person has Psychological Needs, which include, Esteem and then lastly, Self-Actualization Needs. A House for an individual fulfills these needs, it is not only a means of shelter, safety, and security but also helps to increase status, self-esteem, respect, and freedom.

As discussed earlier, the term ‘Affordability’ is a relative term, affordable does not blandly translate to ‘Cheap’. Thus, when professionals from different departments work in harmony, this idea can be turned into reality.

Conclusion

In Conclusion, Market Researchers, Analysts, Architects, Engineers, Businesses, and others must all work together to bring out the best results.  It is not just a cheap housing project for the mid-income group but a complete solution for the consumers and betterment of all, our society, our economy, and as a whole, our nation.

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