Ashiana Housing Project is the latest addition in the relatively small list of housing schemes in Lahore, especially those which are planned with the objective of providing housing to lower-middle class of the society (who otherwise can just dream of owning a house in their lifetime). Ashiana Housing Scheme is a project by Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) in collaboration with Bank of Punjab (BOP) that will be providing the financing facilities to the successful applicants. According to the plan, more than six thousand housing units will be built at the location of Soo-e-Asil on 3 and 5 Marla plots. 3 Marla homes are priced at Rs. 840,000, while the 5 Marla ones will be available at Rs. 1,190,000, monthly installments for these housing units are set at 4500 and 7500 respectively. Only the individuals with a monthly income of less than 20,000 PKR are eligible to apply. The interested buyers must fill a form provided by PLDC and submit with a processing fee of Rs. 890 at the Bank of Punjab. The buyers will be selected via lucky draw.
Real estate prices in Lahore are almost unreachable when it comes to middle or lower-middle class. The good thing about Ashiana Housing project is that it targets the people in low-income bracket while promising world class residencies. Another good thing about this project is the measures taken for fending off imposters looking to take advantage of this scheme. For example, the agreement states that the allottee must move to their property with the family, within 90 days of allotment, or else the allotment will be canceled after waiting for 6 months. More importantly, the allottees are not permitted to sell or rent their homes within 5 years of allotment.
Developers are promising all kinds of standard amenities like parks, commercial areas, spacious roads, and community centers, however, all housing projects look good as long as they are on the paper. It is actually the implementation that really matters. Knowing that this particular project will be accommodating only the lower-middle class, one can expect some delays and hiccups in the proceedings. Also, monthly payments, while not as much as the average market price, are still on the higher side, when we look at the limit of monthly income. It wouldn’t be easy for a family with a joint family income of less than 20,000, to keep aside monthly installments of 7500? Also, the backing of Punjab government (which is supposed to be a good thing) will put a question mark on the future of Ashiana Housing scheme, as soon as the government changes.
In any case, these are just speculations and we can only hope that the “bad” will not turn into “ugly” once the project gets going.