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Thursday, January 18, 2018

House rent, utility eat up 30pc income

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Rental house and utility costs are eating up 30 percent income of most of the tenants in Dhaka metropolis, according to a latest study conducted by a leading private university.  Nearly 82 percent of Dhaka city tenants have to spend 30 percent of their monthly income for paying rent and utility bills, the study, released yesterday, said.

Institute of Governance and Development of BRAC University has carried out the study to know the challenges that the city tenants are facing for managing their living costs. The study has also put forwarded some recommendations for addressing this issue.

The research was conducted in middle of this year on 400 households in four selected areas in the capital city including old Dhaka, Mirpur, Rampura and Badda. During the study, nearly 45 percent of the respondents drew a more concerning scenario saying that they were spending 44 percent of their income for accommodation and utilities including water, power and gas.

"Housing is one of the key challenges that the people face in Dhaka where 44 percent of the country's total urban population live in," Senior Research Associate of Institute of Governance and Development of BRAC University Syeda Selina Aziz said while presenting the findings of the study at the BRAC Centre in Mohakhali.

She said the city is getting around 25,000 new housing units every year against the staggering demand for at least 120,000 new accommodations, leading to the higher rent. Citing the study, Selina said about 56 percent of the city dwellers have no land ownership, and this figure goes higher to 70 percent with inclusion of the slum and squat population.

For bringing in visible changes to this current scenario, the study has underscored the need for improving land management, releasing land from unauthorized occupancy, efficient management of public land and planned use of land allocated for public housing.

It has suggested improving reliability of all agencies concerned and brining all the informal developers under the monitoring of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK).

The study has also recommended establishing a separate department within RAJUK to monitor the application of building codes and ward-level field controlling to address tenancy related issues.

Executive Director of BRAC Institute of Governance and Development Dr Sultan Hafeez Rahman and Senior Research Associate of the Institute Mohammed Sirajul Islam also spoke on the occasion.

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