Housing: Opportunity, Security, and Empowerment for the Poor
The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for Pakistan1 lays considerable emphasis on housing finance as a major intervention for poverty reduction. The national Housing Policy of 2001 has as its corner stone housing for the poor and needy. The Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy of Pakistan (IPRSP) completed in November 2001 explicitly recognised the importance of Housing for the poor. It stated that “housing is a fundamental human need as it provides physical, economic, and social security to the poor. However, depressed economic growth, rising population, and rapid urbanisation have resulted in an increased demand for housing infrastructure. It stated that the present backlog of housing units is more than 4 million in the country with the result that millions are forced to live in Katchi Abadis or under-serviced slum settlements. Estimates for urban population living in Katchi Abadis range from 35-50 percent”. This paper highlight the importance of housing as an important dimension of poverty by examining the available literature that show the crucial contribution of adequate housing for ensuring opportunity, security and empowerment—the three pillars for poverty reduction. There is global consensus now that these three elements form the essential pillars of any poverty reduction strategy. This paper shows how inadequate housing creates a sense of insecurity and disempowerment among the poor. Housing poverty in Pakistan is described and an index of poverty based on housing inadequacy is adapted and applied to data for Pakistan from the PIHS 1998- 99. It shows that the incidence of poverty based on housing inadequacy in Pakistan is much greater than that indicated by standard money-metric income/consumption based measures.
Volume (Year): 42 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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- G.M. Arif & Sabiha Ibrahim, 1998. "The Process of Urbanisation in Pakistan, 1951–81," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 37(4), pages 507-522.
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