ISLAMABAD: Over 196,000 slum dwellers (10 per cent) are among over 1.98 million applicants for houses under the Naya Pakistan Housing Progra­mme, the data available with Dawn shows.

According to the current residence status of the appli­cants, 1.02 million of them (52pc) live in rented houses while 0.687m (35pc) are settled in a joint family home.

Over 0.748m (38pc) of the applicants are from labour class and 0.425m (21pc) are private sector employees. They include 0.202m (10pc) government employees and 73,479 (4pc) self-employed individuals.

As many as 1.51m of the applicants are male, 0.462m (23.4pc) female and 5,519 (0.3pc) transgender. Among the female applicants, over 0.350m (76pc) are married, 65,971 (14pc) unmarried, 36,308 widowed and 9,738 (2pc) divorced.

An official of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) said the number of applicants was set to go over two million by January 15 — the last date to get registered for the housing scheme. He said Jan 15 was the final date and no further extension would be given as the last date had earlier been extended several times to ensure maximum participation of the aspirants.

The official said by Jan 10, over 1.98m applications had been received. Of them 260,856 applications are from Islamabad, followed by 225,694 Lahore district. The total number of applicants from all districts in Karachi comes to 265,347. Besides, 124,884 individuals from Faisalabad, 78,738 from Multan, 70,892 from Quetta, 47,362 from Peshawar and 53,486 from Swat district have registered with the programme.

The official said online registration could be made at any Nadra e-sahulat centre by submitting a fee of Rs250. Nadra is also providing registration facilities through its website.

For those living in Karachi, registration facility is also available at Nadra’s Defence Housing Authority, North Nazimabad and Liaquatabad centres.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had launched the second phase of registration for the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme in mid-July last year, asserting the scheme would provide affordable housing to low-income sections of society.

The prime minister had also launched a web portal by clicking on the button from where applicants could register themselves while at home without needing to visit any office.

At the launching ceremony, the prime minister had said the cabinet would approve necessary legislation to enable commercial banks to extend loan to those who could not afford to buy a house.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2020