Department of City And Regional Planning


Affordable Housing for All


The HOUSING RESEARCH CENTRE (HRC) is first of its own kind among Pakistan’s top social and urban policy research centers. HRC has been set up in 2016, bringing together existing dominating research groups within the country and international research centers.

 ‘Affordable Housing for All’ is our dream at HRC– and our ambition is to assist housing professionals and institutions in putting this dream on actual canvas. Enthusiastic faith in prospective of housing industry is firm bonding between our collaborating bodies which intends to improve people’s lifestyle, to empower deprived communities, to help out vulnerable people and to enhance the economic and social growth of urban poor.

We fabricate and deliver qualifications for people who work in (or want to contribute to) housing; we are more than a research organization sustaining housing professionals across the Pakistan and beyond; we conduct seminars, workshops, training and events; and we come up with new thoughts for policies and regulations believing that will improve housing for everyone.

Currently, we are in the grasp of a housing crisis - millions of people are not in reach of affordable house.  Getting housing in right manner can lead to groundwork of many other progressive channels – education, health, economic growth, strong well-being and safer communities. On the contrary, getting housing wrongly can lead to destruction of nations.

At HRC, our goal is to advance the shared knowledge and professional skills of our affiliated members and the global housing industry and unite it in a way that government and private policies across Pakistan can be developed and get implementation. Setting up a mission in housing has got importance than ever. We believe in working together- we are here to assist policy-makers, housing educators, providers and professionals at every level. Like every housing expert, provision of sustainable, secure and low-cost house has got so many things involved than just providing the shelter. And HRC provides platform for addressing all such concerns.

Housing Deficit- A Challenge

More than two billion people will be living in cities by 2030 and majority will be living in slums and squatter settlements. Such rapid urbanization creates severe issue of formal affordable housing on the global face currently.  The continuous malfunctioning of housing systems cannot cope up with demand, determined by the rate of household structure, insufficient land and outdated framework of building.

Pakistan is facing housing deficit as one of the biggest challenges to better livelihood. The housing stock for many low-income families has been overpriced, dilapidated, and hazardous. Public housing programs like ASHIANA have provided unaffordable, distantly located and poorly designed houses. The challenge of housing deficit is tackled by informal sector providing ground for slums and squatters on the face of formal city. Tenants of such housing arrangements mostly live in overloaded, unhygienic and hazardous conditions. The need is for formal affordable housing to cope up with the problems of informal housing made affordable by tenants.

Housing is fundamental nationalized municipal infrastructure. There is no prosperity on national level without economic growth ensuring good jobs. Assurance of good jobs is not possible without proper housing structure, the reason is housing provides home for sleep at nighttime. Housing is the only commodity through which better lifestyle can be formulated; leading to the home of leaders of new generation.

Stable, affordable and accessible housing is critical to helping people improve living opportunities related to family, work, education and recreation.  Formal affordable housing means a range of housing that is affordable to households of varying financial capacity especially very low and moderate-income household.

An affordable house does not mean a free of cost house. Making it in the reach of deprived community through decent roadmap of buying or renting actually fulfills the meaning in its true sense. Affordable housing includes several meanings such as:

  • Housing that contributes to the sustainability of communities and is compatible with the goal of economic as well as environmental sustainability. 
  • Housing that allows people the opportunity to pursue goals related to family, work, education, creativity, recreation or other pursuits.
  • Housing that encourages adaptable and accessible housing being responsive to the changing needs of residents.
  • To ensure that the location of housing offers residents adequate access to transport, employment, services, and to social and support networks.
  • To promote community wellbeing through better provision of housing to meet diverse community needs.  To give households access to housing that is appropriate to their needs.

Although, affordable housing is not an easy thing to achieve, it is in fact end result of a complex system of connections and actions between:

  1. Government Sector- desires to provide affordable housing for their people, but do not know how to supply quality housing in an effective manner
  2. Real estate Sector – know to manufacture affordable housing, but poor at generating good returns through it
  3. Banking Sector - knows to subsidize market-rate homes, but not affordable ones
  4. NGOs, intends to provide platform for deprived community and housing to underserved populations, but has weak sustainability both in execution and in application
  5. Planners & Architects, that know how to plan and design decent affordable houses but don’t know how to execute
  6. Community, that know affordable house is their basic right but don’t know how to attain it

The field of housing industry requires further research, endowment and improvement. At HRC we believe in resolving these mechanisms. We are dedicated to contribute to better lifestyle of urban poor on the global channel.


  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the affordable housing ecosystem and challenges in Pakistan.
  • Create recommendations for areas of catalytic intervention along the housing value chain.
  • Develop an actionable implementation plan for interventions.
  • To identify the specific blockages to affordable housing delivery and finance in the region where strategic interventions could be catalytic in facilitating affordable housing delivery and finance.
  • To understand the affordable housing system in Pakistan. Ultimately, HRC aims to develop and provide affordable housing options for the poor in Pakistan.
  • To create policy guidelines for government and implementation agencies.
  • To develop housing design guidelines for low-income groups
  • To provide decent options of space planning and house designs meeting the needs of tenants. Designs with low-cost and sustainable materials will help in developing housing for deprived community a well-designed commodity.


HRC is more than just a research body- it involves not only graduate and post graduate level, HRC works closely with planners, architects, NGOs, Housing institutions to shape up the housing agenda for providing better future to residents of deprived community in Pakistan.

HRC scope of work includes publishing research, developing housing policies, designing affordable decent houses, project planning and implementation, conferences, seminars, and fundraising for implementation of affordable housing projects.

Being a part of any HRC streams, will enhance professional expertise, understanding and catalog of most essential housing issues. This will train you to inspect connotation of strategies and policy guidelines and applying relevant planning standards and practices in your organization after recognizing authentic and good courses of housing actions.


  • Universiti Sains Malaysia -USM
  • Affordable Housing CENTRE- AHI –Boston, U.S.A
  • CENTRE of Planners, Pakistan - IPP
  • Capital Development Authority - CDA
  • Chartered CENTRE of Housing- CIH


This idea of creating HOUSING RESEARCH CENTRE at UMT will operate through inter- disciplinary associations with following specified categories:

1. Publishing Housing Research and Developing Data Base

2. Offering Graduate Degree – MS. Housing and Community Development

3. Designing Affordable and Experimental House Designs

4. Providing Policy Implications for Government

5. Implementing Housing Projects

6. Organizing Workshops and Seminars


HRC at UMT is the only organization, which is acknowledged across the country for awarding qualifications of housing in Pakistan. Our qualifications are structured on the framework of excellent academic standing. Postgraduate research includes housing finance, rental housing, planning standards, and speculation, NGOs, Models from and for Pakistan and Abroad, Public Private Partnership (PPP) etc. The Degree is structured on the framework of excellence and professional approach by housing and educational experts.  We believe in corroborating and working with higher education institutions in Pakistan and across the globe on the provision and endorsement of housing education.


MS Housing and community development offers the opportunity to explore innovative policy approaches to housing - particularly in nonprofit housing development - while learning the traditional tools of housing policy and community development. Current housing issues are assessed against a historical background of goals and effectiveness in improving housing outcomes, as well as the secondary impacts of housing policies and their connections to local economic development. The analysis casts a critical eye at understanding opportunities for building coalitions among low-income tenants, community-based organizations, and development professionals, as well as links to organizing among labor, women, and social service providers. The real estate methods provide a thorough grounding in current practice with an emphasis on affordable multifamily development. Many courses draw on international examples as well as domestic.


School of Housing, Building & Planning (HBP) at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has been offering MS Housing for a long time. The degree has recognition with UN-HABITAT Universities for its excellent road map and teaching methods.

USM provides an extreme healthy and learning environment for its students and HBP is one of the best schools of USM. The Level of academic standing of students will get its foundations firm during their stay at HBP. Malaysia being part of Asian Region is handling housing matters maturely. Such exchange program will act as connecting bridge between community of both universities broadening their circle of knowledge, experiences and lifelong learning in all dimensions of housing industry in different urban contexts. Altogether, it will excel the professional and academic profile of students.


  • UMT to serve as Website manager & Potential Secretariat of Asia-Pacific Union for Housing Finance – APUHF (DOCUMENT ATTACHED)
  • Feasibility Study for the Setting up of a program for scaling up financing for Solar Home Systems (SHS) through PMIC and its microfinance partners in conjunction with a technical assistance program


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