Urban planners on Friday urged the government to take necessary policies to ensure quality housing for low and lower-middle income people, simultaneously with that for higher-earning groups.
"As the housing crisis in Dhaka city is particularly acute for the low and lower-middle class, the government should pay special attention to them while designing housing projects," Professor Adil Mohammed Khan, executive director of the Institute for Planning and Development (IPD), said while addressing a virtual dialogue on World Habitat Day.
"It is necessary to allocate land, and take housing initiatives under public-private partnership for the lower-earning groups," he said and added that it is possible to ensure quality housing for all in Dhaka by properly implementing Detailed Area Plan (DAP).
IPD Advisor Professor Akhtar Mahmud said, "The discussion on Dhaka's housing should focus on the low and lower-middle classes. A large project should be taken for them."
There is also a need to have a plan for those who cannot afford buying a flat but can afford staying on rent, he said at the event also attended by Jahangirnagar University Professor Shammi Akhtar Satu, Detailed Area Plan Project Director Md Ashraful Islam, and IPD Director Mohammad Ariful Islam.
"The National Housing Policy framed in 2016 suggests a housing council that has not been formed yet. As a result, it has not been possible to take necessary initiatives for ensuring housing for all," Shammi Akhtar Satu said.
Ashraful Islam said different modern cities of Malaysia, India and Pakistan have given priority to block-based housing development instead of traditional plot-based ones and could ensure open spaces, civic amenities, and housing units for low-income people.
"Such proposals have been given in this year's DAP," he added.
"We should plan for all the necessary civic amenities, rather than only places to live. Hence, we need more discussion for quality housing."
The United Nations-declared World Habitat Day has been observed on the first Monday of October every year since 1986.