Affordable housing projects are not only vital for the well-being of the society but can also contribute greatly towards a stronger economy. Low-cost housing schemes, such as the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme introduced by Prime Minister Imran Khan, can be a much-needed boon for small and big businesses alike – because when people are not spending a major chunk of their paychecks on rents, they can afford to buy and invest in other avenues.
Along with increasing the spending power of the community, such initiatives also create more job opportunities. Housing stability, access to health care, and improved educational outcomes are also some of the most noteworthy benefits of affordable housing.
The development of low-cost housing projects is also rather beneficial for developers, builders, architects, contractors, investors, and real estate agents. The reason behind this is pretty simple: affordable housing options are always in high demand and their occupancy rate does not fluctuate with the economy.
Since we have already talked about the legal stumbling blocks towards affordable housing as well as tax exemptions for low-cost housing developers and builders under the PM’s construction relief package, it’s about time we discussed the economic impact of affordable housing in Pakistan and how investing in such projects is akin to investing in the welfare of the community.
WHAT ARE THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN PAKISTAN?
Low-cost housing schemes attract a diverse range of individuals from all walks of life and provide them with a host of opportunities regardless of their income levels.
Here are some of the most prominent advantages of affordable housing in Pakistan.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING LEADS TO MORE JOB OPPORTUNITIES
The biggest economic impact of affordable housing on families and communities is that it creates more job opportunities, both during the initial development and construction phase and later through the long-term growth of the society.
Once a low-cost housing project is approved by the concerned authorities, the developer will have to hire construction companies who will, in turn, employ architects, engineers, project and operations managers, site supervisors, accountants, HR personnel, marketers, construction workers, maintenance staff, security guards and others. Similarly, the manufacturers of cement, steel, and other construction materials and equipment will also benefit from the launch of such initiatives.
The long-term economic impact of affordable housing also ensures a stronger economy by offering more employment opportunities down the road, which can lead to a profound change in the community. Apart from encouraging improved mobility, well-populated and low-cost projects also attract commercial businesses to the neighbourhood, ultimately creating more jobs for the residents.
IT INCREASES THE SPENDING POWER OF THE COMMUNITY
One of the most prominent and perhaps obvious benefits of affordable housing in Pakistan is its direct impact on the local purchasing power.
For lower-income and middle-income segments of the population, rent payments are their biggest expense each month. In most cases, rent takes up to half of a person’s monthly income, which leaves them unable to spend money on even their basic needs let alone on other commodities, which is harmful to the local economy.
However, the convenient rental and payment plans of affordable housing projects improve the residents’ quality of life by increasing their purchasing power. When the threat of income loss doesn’t threaten the ability to pay rent, people are more likely to spend money on healthy food, health care, education, recreation, and entertainment. The increase in the spending power of the community can boost small businesses and big corporations alike, further strengthening the economy.
LOW-COST HOUSING OPTIONS RESULT IN A HEALTHIER POPULATION
Access to adequate housing is a human right, as it has a huge influence on an individual’s physical and mental health. This is the main reason why poverty is considered one of the main causes of most acute and chronic health diseases. Of course, government initiatives such as the Sehat Sahulat Programme have made health care much more accessible for the citizens, but the fact remains that those unable to afford proper housing are more likely to suffer from various health-related issues compared to the affluent segments of the society.
In this regard, the need for the properly-planned and well-maintained affordable housing projects is also at an all-time high. Those living in low-income housing usually face a range of environmental threats that can be detrimental to their health, this included provision of contaminated water, lack of proper waste management system, and exposure to lead among other perils.
These factors further highlight the economic importance of affordable housing. When people are able to live in well-planned houses and apartments with reasonable rent and payment plans, they are likely to afford better health care and routine visits to the doctor.
INCREASE IN TAX AND REVENUE HELPS BUILD SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
Another important economic benefit of affordable housing is that it contributes towards better infrastructure through property taxes, which are levied on plots as well as residential and commercial developments by the provincial governments.
When more residents can own houses and apartments, the local governments will also witness an increase in taxes and other revenues. This increase in revenue can be used to carpet roads, create more green spaces, maintain parks, develop schools and hospitals, and initiate similar housing projects.
If you want to learn more about property taxes in Pakistan or are seeking a better understanding of property tax rates in the country, our comprehensive guides on the topic will surely help you out.
HOUSING STABILITY LEAD TO IMPROVED EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES
Housing instability is among the biggest effects of the lack of affordable housing in Pakistan.
It’s no secret that the lack of housing security can have detrimental effects on the education of children and their subsequent academic success. Since children are the future of any society, it is imperative to provide them with a stable environment and proper housing as tools to achieve better education and become productive members of the community.
Moreover, paying school fees and taking care of other expenses is a huge issue. If the fear of eviction keeps a major part of lower-income and middle-income groups from providing their children with quality education, it can have dire long-term consequences on the economy.
To put it simply, access to affordable housing allows young members of the society to establish and focus on their goals, which can have a significant impact on their educational achievement and subsequently, the economic output.