Building Healthy and Sustainable Communities in Pakistan
Building Healthy and Sustainable Communities in Pakistan
Lahore Pakistan/New York, May 31, 2016 /3BL Media/ – Ansaar Management Company (AMC), a Pakistan-based social enterprise, is tackling the lack of affordable housing in Pakistan. The company has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to build 5,000 new affordable housing units by 2020, providing high-quality homes to 35,000 low-income people. Focused on community self-reliance and sustainability, AMC aims to scale up its inclusive housing investments to achieve annual profits of US$8 million within ten years while building vibrant communities for nearly 200,000 people.
BCtA is a global initiative that encourages companies to fight poverty through inclusive business models. It is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other international organizations.
With its mission to provide safe, affordable homes to families who otherwise could not benefit from home ownership, AMC is poised to be the leader in this emerging market. The company’s inclusive business model goes beyond low-cost housing construction to the development of ecologically sound, healthy and productive communities. Each unit AMC builds has access to clean drinking water, electricity and underground sewage. After the construction of new housing blocks, AMC stays involved in the community for five years to nurture new residents’ engagement and build their capacity.
The model works because AMC builds and sells 70 percent of its new residential units at or near cost, while selling the remaining prime and commercial plots at the market rate. Within 10 years, AMC expects to achieve annual profits of US$8 million by building healthy and sustainable communities for nearly 200,000 people.
“A critical factor in alleviating poverty in Pakistan is to provide poor people with an asset. If this asset comes in the form of a house, the value is both financial and social,” said Jawad Aslam, the Chief Executive Officer of AMC. “We believe that sustainability means more than just quality infrastructure – it is also the capacity and develop systems for self-reliance. We are pleased that our efforts in this regard have been recognized by the Business Call to Action.”
Pakistan suffers from a severe shortage in housing, especially among low- and middle-income people. For decades, the Pakistani real estate sector has seen the rich amassing property while the majority of Pakistan’s people are unable to purchase a home. As a result of the country’s population boom and a lack of access to financing, the country lacks approximately 10 million affordable housing units. With a high level of rural-to-urban migration and a lack of affordable solutions for the new migrants, unplanned housing on uninhabited land – in insecure and unhealthy conditions – has become the norm.
Following extensive research, AMC developed an inclusive business model that aims to break this pattern, allowing low-income communities to acquire homes both for shelter and assets for their families’ future. The company is able to provide quality, affordable housing by forging relationships with lending institutions and designing all homes in cooperation with community members to ensure their needs are met. AMC also ensures that all civil works contractors hire contractors like masons, electricians, plumbers and labourers from within the local community whenever possible.
Each new neighborhood block comprises of roughly 25 homes situated around a park that is maintained by the homeowners. This design promotes a sense of community participation, reduces traffic and maximizes security; local water treatment plants allow recycled water to be used for the block’s needs. AMC’s continued involvement in new neighborhoods ensures that residents will be able access additional funds and make infrastructure improvements.
The company also understands that in Pakistani society, social status is as important as financial stability. For example, when contemplating potential marriage prospects, an independently owned home with secure land tenue is a significant consideration. In addition to the social benefits, homeowners can leverage their homes as collateral to obtain loans and improve their livelihoods.
“AMC’s inclusive approach demonstrates the value of building homes that make it affordable for families to raise their living standards,” said Paula Pelaez, Programme Manager of the BCtA. “These quality homes foster the development of strong, vibrant communities. We are pleased to welcome AMC to the Business Call to Action and look forward to its continued impact.”
By ensuring immediate occupancy of its affordable housing units, AMC’s inclusive model creates demand for the remaining market-rate units. With its inclusive investments, company has already provided new housing to 3,000 individuals and aims to serve 35,000 in the next five years. This business model is not only proving to be sustainable, but replicable throughout Pakistan.
For further information:
Business Call to Action:
Ansaar Management Company:
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About Ansaar Management Company: Ansaar Management Company (AMC) is a private housing developer founded in 2008, which aims to become the leader in high-quality, affordable housing in Pakistan. Its mission is to provide high quality, innovative, and affordable housing solutions for low- and middle-income Pakistanis through an integrated, holistic approach. It aims to scale up and achieve sustainability through its strong focus on community building. While initial projects focused on 30,000 homes in and near large cities, within ten years, AMC expects to achieve annual profits of US$ 8 million – and significant social impacts – by providing healthy living for nearly 200,000 people. For more information, please visit http://amcpakistan.org.