World Bank approves $435 million to finance low-cost housing projects in Pakistan

World Bank housing

World Bank (WB) has approved $435 million loans for three housing projects in Pakistan to facilitate low income groups.

The three Pakistani projects are;

1- The Pakistan Housing Finance Project

2- The Punjab Urban Land Systems Enhancement Project

3- The Punjab Affordable Housing Program

The World Bank’s board of directors approved funding to increase access to housing finance, especially for low households, strengthen land tenure rights, and facilitate affordable housing construction in Punjab’s metropolitan areas.

Pakistan Housing Finance Project

The $85 million additional funding for the Pakistan Housing Finance project, according to the global lender, will assist extend access to affordable mortgages and improve homeownership among low-income households, especially women and informal workers.

Read more: World Bank disburses $3.4 billion for 23 projects

“The new funding will expand the credit risk-sharing program, which was introduced in 2018 to provide partial credit guarantees to banks in order to incentivize them to lend to borrowers who have traditionally been barred from commercial financing,” according to the statement.

It is estimated that up to 70,000 first-time homeowners in the country will gain from this, as long as they eligible for the government’s interest rate subsidy scheme, Mera Pakistan, Mera Ghar.

Punjab Affordable Housing Programme

Furthermore, the $200 million approval by World Bank for Punjab Affordable Housing Programme would enhance the supply of affordable housing in the province, especially for low-income families.

The programme, according to the international lender, will improve government systems to create an enabling environment for private financing of mixed-income housing developments.

“It will also assist the government in better targeting the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme’s subsidies for low-income families.” The initiative also encourages the use of green building principles, climate resilience, accessibility, safety, and women’s mobility in housing developments,” according to the statement.

Over the next five years, the initiative will help about 77,000 households, half of which will be low-income families residing in metropolitan areas.

Punjab Urban Land Systems Enhancement Project

Meanwhile, the $150 million Punjab Urban Land Systems Enhancement project will “strengthen land management and simplify housing authorities’ efforts in the Punjab province to identify eligible locations and public lands for economical housing developments.”

“By establishing a computerized, province-wide inventory of lands and documents, the initiative will assist the provincial government in modernizing its land registry. This would assist safeguard land title and streamline land-related permit procedures, which are necessary for private sector investment, housing finance, and tax revenue collection “according to the statement.

The initiative will also create geospatial data and risk information to improve urban planning and catastrophe risk management strategies for natural hazards like floods, according to the World Bank.

Land registration is estimated to benefit more than 38 million people, as it will not only increase tenure security but also formalize land and property ownership.

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