March 11, 2022: The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved $435 million in financing for three projects in Pakistan; Pakistan Housing Finance Project, Punjab Urban Land Systems Improvement Project and Punjab Affordable Housing Scheme, a press release announced today.

These projects will expand access to housing finance, especially for low-income households, improve land rights and facilitate the construction of affordable housing in urban areas of Punjab.

Affordable and accessible housing is in high demand in Pakistan, home to over 200 million people and the most urbanized country in South Asia, said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “These projects will help meet housing needs, particularly for low-income households, by leveraging the private sector and facilitating access to mortgage options for those who currently do not have access to finance to buy a home. . They will also strengthen property rights and increase the supply of affordable, climate-resilient housing.

The additional $85 million in financing for the Pakistan Housing Finance project will help expand access to affordable mortgages to increase home ownership among low-income households, including women and informal workers. The additional financing will strengthen the Credit Risk Sharing Facility launched in 2018, to provide partial credit guarantees to banks, to incentivize them to lend to borrowers traditionally excluded from trade finance. This will benefit up to 70,000 first time home buyers in the country, who are eligible for the government’s interest rate subsidy scheme – Mera Pakistan, Mera Ghar (My Pakistan, My Home).

The $150 million Punjab Urban Land Systems Improvement Project will strengthen land administration and facilitate housing authorities’ efforts to identify suitable areas and public lands for affordable housing developments in the province of Punjab. The project will help the provincial government modernize its land registry by creating a province-wide digital land and deed inventory. This will help secure land tenure and streamline land licensing procedures – which are essential for private sector investment, housing finance and tax revenue collection. The project will also generate geospatial data and risk information to inform strategies for urban planning and risk management of natural disasters such as floods. More than 38 million people are expected to benefit from land registration, which will not only improve security of tenure, but also formalize land and property ownership.

The $200 million Punjab Affordable Housing Scheme will increase the availability of affordable housing, especially for low-income households in the province. The program will strengthen government systems to create an enabling environment that attracts private finance for mixed-income housing developments. It will also help the government to better target the Naya Pakistan housing scheme subsidies to low-income households. The program also encourages the integration of green building principles, climate resilience, accessibility, safety and women’s mobility in developments. The program will benefit approximately 77,000 households over the next five years, half of which will be low-income families living in urban areas.

Press release