Friday January 27, 2023

Roundtable on eco-friendly, sustainable housing projects held

By Our Correspondent
December 09, 2022

Islamabad : The Sustainable Housing Ecosystems (SHE), a joint consortium between Altair, AMC, and Trellis hosted a successful roundtable on ‘Resilient and Sustainable Housing for All: Delivering for People and Planet’ at a hotel here.

The organisers said the event was to bring together key players in the housing industry and work towards building environmentally-friendly projects across the country. According to them, Altair, a UK-based organisation, provides high-quality, creative solutions to the varied and dynamic challenges facing organisations in housing and they have delivered over 50,000 homes in addition to being the enabler of millions more homes in private and public ownership.

The AMC has developed sustainable and affordable housing projects across multiple cities in Pakistan. The Trellis Housing Finance Limited provides Shariah-compliant housing finance to people who are traditionally not catered to by the current financial institutions in the country. Altair directors Emma Ahmed and Ian McPherson OBE, Trellis CEO Jamshed Meherhomji, and AMC chief Jawad Aslam hosted the chief guest on the occasion, where housing secretary Iftikhar Ali Shalwani and representatives of the housing ministry, IFC Faysal Bank, Central Business District Lahore, Ravi Urban Development Authority, SECP and Zayn Capital.

There was widespread consensus among the attendees that the home-building effort across Pakistan should emphasise the significant benefits of energy-efficient and sustainable projects with minimal impact on the environment and maximizing affordability for the common man and woman. Participants highlighted the many opportunities available in the construction sector from the use of building machinery to construction materials and project planning. Emma Ahmed stressed the need for sustainable development.

“We have the capability within Pakistan to deliver sustainable housing at scale because we have already delivered a successful proof of concept. We must get policy, regulation, and investment aligned to support a significant scaling of the solution which has the ability to completely change lives for generations to come as well as protect against future economic and climate shocks.”

Jawad Aslam called for affordability as a key driver within the sector. He said the government’s support was required to reduce the timeline for approvals and provide access to their database of pre-approved customers requiring housing.

“This will increase the ROI of such projects and this makes them more attractive to investors and developers alike, thus facilitating them to be executed at a greater scale and producing maximum impact,” he said. Jawad Aslam said the lack of financing in the sector had been a major bottleneck for new, sustainable housing projects.