Houses for disadvantaged

526

ACCORDING to the data compiled by NADRA, amongst the 1.9 million applicants for the Naya Pakistan Housing Program include 5,500 transgenders, 184,355 slum dwellers, 34,654 widows and 715,473 people from the labour class.
The data very much shows the confidence expressed by the disadvantaged and neglected segments of the society on the mega housing scheme with the hope that they will also get a house for decent living. It is a big test case for the PTI government as to how it turns this ambitious project of building five million houses into reality and then who benefits from it the most. In the past also governments launched many housing schemes but the low income groups failed to get any worthwhile share in them. Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly expressed the commitment to make this scheme affordable to low income segments of the society and this is the reason that this housing program has drawn unprecedented applications from labour class and slum dwellers. In our view such groups including the transgenders, who have always been deprived of their basic rights for education and jobs, as well as the divorced and widows, must be given interest-free loans so that they could own their house and live a decent life. What is also important is that no compromise is made on the quality of houses built for the low income groups as doing so will be negation of PM’s own vision of doing away with the VVIP culture and reducing the gap between the rich and the poor. As the second phase of registration is about to complete on 15 December, it is time for the government to expedite work on the construction of houses after removal of all the hiccups. Emphasis should be on completing the project well ahead of completion of government’s five year tenure. Doing so will also accrue immense economic benefits for the country as it will help uplift the construction and allied sectors besides creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for the youth. Failing to meet this promise will have a big political cost for the PTI.