Development organisations and other relevant agencies should work together with the government to address the country’s housing-related challenges, State Minister for Social Welfare Sharif Ahmed said on Tuesday.
He also said by 2031, the urban population will be 45 per cent of the total population of Bangladesh.The state minister said this while inaugurating a two-day national seminar on building collaboration for housing impact in the capital.
A new platform named “Bangladesh Housing Forum” was launched at the seminar to help strengthen access to adequate and decent housing in Bangladesh.
The newly launched Bangladesh Housing Forum will serve as a coalition for likeminded organisations to facilitate communication and coordination, sharing and discussions to address Bangladesh’s housing-related challenges.
Dr Zillur Rahman in his key note speech said, “Urban housing solutions are critical to realizing SDG 11 and sustainable and equitable urbanization. By 2021 there will be a deficit of at least 8.5 million units in the housing sector in Bangladesh.”
He urged the policymakers to facilitate a paradigm shift on urban housing from being merely aspiration to being strategic.
The founding members of the Forum include Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh, Caritas Bangladesh, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Housing and Building Research Institute, Oxfam in Bangladesh and UN-Habitat.Rashidul Islam, chairman of National Housing Authority, Gokul Krishna Ghosh, (Joint Secretary), Director of NGO Affairs Bureau at the Prime Minister’s Office, Richard Hathaway, Vice-President, Asia-Pacific Region of Habitat for Humanity Int. and John Armstrong, Chairman of Adhoc
Steering Committee of Bangladesh Housing Forum and National Director, Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh, addressed the seminar among others.
The seminar focused on four focus areas: Bangladesh housing challenges, policy, and plans; Affordable, alternative and inclusive housing technologies; Role of the market and private sector in affordable and resilient housing; and Disaster risk reduction, response, and climate change adaptation.
Addressing the seminar, John Armstrong said, “Bangladesh Housing Forum gives us an opportunity to support housing initiatives that further promote collaboration and innovation to come up with better housing solutions for the families and communities that we serve.”
Professor Dr. Nasreen Hossain, Head of the Department of Architecture, BUET, SM Monjur Rashid, Head of policy, Advocacy, Campaigns and Communications of Oxfam in Bangladesh and representatives from relevant government agencies and national and international NGOs were also present on the occasion.