World Bank team visits PKSF’s housing activities in Gazipur
A World Bank (WB) delegation led by John Roome, Regional Director, South Asia Sustainable Development, visited field-level interventions of the Low-Income Community Housing Support Project (LICHSP) in Gazipur on 21 June 2023.
The WB delegation also included Robin Mearns, Practice Manager; Sabah Moyeen, Senior Social Development Specialist, and Rokeya Ahmed, Water and Sanitation Specialist. PKSF officials, including Project Coordinator Dr AKM Nuruzzaman, accompanied the team during the visit.
The team visited a newly built house that had received funding from the project which intends to improve living conditions for low-income households and informal settlements in selected towns. The World Bank’s Regional Director for sustainable development in South Asia expressed satisfaction over the project’s progress and the quality of the houses built with the funds allocated.
LICHSP offers flexible financial support of up to BDT 500 thousand, repayable within five years, as well as technical support during and after the construction. Under the project, more than 11,000 houses have been built, extended, or renovated, which significantly improved the participants’ overall living conditions, safety and security, and even their income.
Nargis Begum, from Porabari of Gazipur, is a mother of four children. Only a few years ago, she used to live in a single-room rental house with her husband and children. They decided to build their own house and started construction activities. But they couldn’t finish the construction due to fund constraints. One day, they learned about the LICHSP housing loan from one of their neighbors. She approached Pidim Foundation, one of the POs of PKSF, for taking loans to finish the construction of their half-done house. With a loan of BDT 300,000 from LICHSP, they finally completed their dream house. Now, she has a three-bedroom semi-pucca house with attached toilets connected to a sewerage line. “Now I have more space for my children. They can study in separate rooms. My eldest son is studying at Notre Dame College,” said Nargis Begum.
Despite the high demand triggered by rapid urbanization and overall economic growth of the country, low-income urban people find it difficult to get housing loans due to a lack of mortgages facilities and appropriate organizations that can offer suitable housing loans for low-income people. While the public sector builds less than 1% of the total housing needs, commercial banks offer housing loans only to well-off borrowers in big metropolises. It is against this backdrop that PKSF decided to make interventions in the housing finance sector so as to improve the overall living conditions of the low-income people in Bangladesh in a sustainable manner.