By Zin Lin Myint
Yangon has become a large existing centre of increasing number of people on account of a flood of migrant workers from all parts of the country. A growing number of people lead to a high demand for apartments. Those in need of shelter in Yangon have squatted down on vacant space of lands and accordingly the number of the squatters has risen to hundreds of thousands in Yangon. With the intention of addressing such situation, Yangon regional government is building low-cost houses in partnership with the ministry concerned and social organizations. For the time being Yangon regional government is planning to set up low-cost houses for the squatters in Hlinethaya.
Plans are underway to build low-cost houses
It is estimated that squatter population in Yangon stands at about 440,000 with 116,375 households.
Those who are in need of shelter intentionally squat down, but some people do for commercial reasons. For that reason Yangon regional government is planning to provide low-cost houses for the real squatter households.
Under the guidance of Yangon regional government, the project of building low-cost houses is under implementation by Pyomayeain Social Development Association. The project implementation committee is comprised of the General Administration Department, the Department of Urban and Housing Development, the Yangon City Development Committee and Pyomayeain Social Development Association.
The project implementation committee managed to set up more than 260 low-cost houses in No. 19 Ward in Shwepyitha Township, Yangon Region. The squatters have been provided for the first batch of 264 low-cost houses in Shwepyitha Township.
Key to project is cooperative measures
The low-cost houses are made with galvanized iron sheet on the roof, timber on the flooring and marble slabs on the wall.
The low-cost houses are of two types. One type is 25 feet in length and 12 feet in width and another is 25 feet in length and 14 feet in width. Land, water and power supplies and transport links facilitated by Yangon regional government. Pyomayeain Social Development Association attended to the needs required for the project.
Monthly installment plan to settle the debt
Those people are the squatters from Shwepyitha Township and the data was collected by the officials. A low-cost house is worth about K3 million and the squatters are now staying at those houses. They are to pay off the value of the houses according to the monthly installment plan. The low-cost houses are like the housing owned by everyone, but not a single person.
Yangon regional government has already had the plans to set up the low-cost houses in Shwepyitha, Dagon Myothit (North), Dagon Myothit (South), Dagon Myothit (East), Dagon Seikkan and Hlinethaya. In some townships the people are staying at the already-built houses. The households are staying at about 150 low-cost houses already built on the area of 11 acres in No 130 Ward in Dagon Myothit (East).
The continued implementation of low-cost houses
Moreover, the construction of a total of 147 low-cost houses was completed on Hlawga Street in No 146 Ward in Dagon Myothit (South) where the households were already allowed staying by the authorities. The Yangon regional government will go on to carry out these low-cost housing projects during 2020, hoping that about 10,000 low-cost houses will emerge in each township.
The Yangon regional government and the households met to discuss the area of the house, formation of the room, construction cost and monthly installment plan. The low-cost house projects designed for the squatters are being carried out in the designated townships.
The site for the construction of the low-cost houses for the squatters in Hlinethaya Township is being reclaimed from University of Technology and Yoeyoelay. Hlinethaya is the township with the existence of most squatters in Yangon.
Low-cost houses are under construction in Hlinethaya, but the squatters do not require large houses because they are the ones who can’t afford and have a few family members. The kitchen, the bed room and the toilet are essential.
The construction of the low-cost houses is according to the desire of the households. The Yangon regional government is also planning to build the houses worth of K1 million, K1.5 million and K2 million.
Hlinethaya has a population of about one million and so the east and the west parts have been divided there.
It is comprised of 20 wards, 9 village tracts and industrial zones. It is said that most of the working class people live in Hlinethaya. The implementation of the low-cost houses in Hlinethaya is aimed at raising a standard of living for the squatters. Translated by Htut Htut (Twantay)