!WOW! applauds and is grateful to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, O''Captain Imran khan, for his Policy and Plans.

Globally, about 1.6 billion people live in inadequate housing, with most living in slums and informal settlements in cities, according to UN estimates.

AN AMBITIOUS PLAN to build five million affordable homes within five years in Pakistan will tap ''student architects'' and use local materials and new technologies to keep costs low, a senior government official said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has committed to building four million homes in rural and urban areas and one million homes in peri-urban areas over the next five years.

It is the biggest government-backed housing programme ever attempted, and will meet half of the country's needs, said Zaigham Rizvi, a senior official.

''Affordable housing is not just an issue in poor countries; it is an issue in nearly every country,'' Mr. Rizvi said on the sidelines of a housing forum in Bangkok.

''But the promise of ''housing for all'' is usually nothing more than a political slogan, and rarely implemented because of lack of will or because the institutional framework is lacking,'' he said.

By 2030, more than half of the country's projected 250 million citizens are expected to live in cities, compared to 36 per cent now, according to the United Nation.

STUDENT architects to help build five million cheap homes in Pakistan..

The student architects will use technology and local materials to keep to keep costs low while taking into account cultural and geographic needs.

''We want to engage the youth in solving the nation's problems. In the village, they are not used to high rise buildings, so they will be at most one story buildings,'' said Zaigham Rizvi, chairman of the federal task force on housing.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has pledged to provide ''Housing For All'' by 2022, with a goal of building 20 million urban housing units, backed by subsidised loans and incentives for developers.

In Pakistan, rapid growth of cities is expected to accelerate the conversion of farmland into building land.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan banned the use of farmland for new housing, in a bid to stop cities encroaching on agricultural areas.

Housing had traditionally not been part of urban planning, which has led to a piecemeal approach, said Mr Rizvi. [Reuters]


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