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Study: 57% middle, lower middle class people out of Dhaka’s housing market

by December 31, 2017 General

At least 57% of Dhaka city’s middle income and lower middle income population are forced to stay out of the housing market since financial institutions are reluctant to provide them monetary assistance, according to Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD).

As most people purchase houses from their personal savings, the high percentage of middle income and lower middle income people opting not to buy houses indicates there remains some problems within the financial sector, said Dr Sultan Hafeez Rahman, executive director of BGID, at the unveiling of their annual flagship report, titled “State of Cities 2017: Housing in Dhaka” on Sunday.

“Whereas most Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, offer financial loans with easy repayment schemes, the process to avail loans here is quite difficult, also there are problems with the repayment procedure,” he said at the event, held at Brac Centre in Dhaka.

The study covered 400 houses in Rampura, Badda, Mirpur and Old Dhaka throughout July-August in 2017.

Speaking at the program, the study team members highlighted various problems in Dhaka’s housing sector.

Syeda Salina Aziz, senior research associate of BIGD, said the massive population density in Dhaka is the crux of all those problems.

About 44% of the country’s urban population lives in Dhaka, she noted.

The BIGD researcher said: “Dhaka is accommodating a plethora of migrants, most of whom are members of the focus groups (of the study). Not all of them can afford proper houses of their own, but won’t live in slums either.”

The study report also pointed to problems faced by tenants that include lack of open spaces for safety during earthquakes, houses having no fire escapes, residents not attending any fire drills, and improper and irregular waste disposal and collection.

Discussants suggested decentralization and better regional development planning, in addition to a stronger role by the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) to solve the crisis in Dhaka’s housing sector.