Burma to Build 1 Million Houses in 20 Years

Housing is seen in Rangoon. The Ministry of Construction has announced a 20-year plan to develop housing nationwide. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

The Burmese government will build more than one million houses nationwide over the next 20 years to satisfy unmet demand for real estate, the Ministry of Construction has announced.

Myint Naing, director of the ministry’s Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development (DHSHD), said about 7,000 houses were currently built in Burma each year, but the country’s population required more than 20,000 houses annually.

“The DHSHD will lend a hand, both legally and financially, to build more houses and reduce their prices,” he said at a press conference in Rangoon on Tuesday.

The housing project would be split into five-year periods, with DHSHD building an average of 50,000 houses annually, he said.

The government would work with private investors to develop major population centers, he said, while DHSHD would use government loans to implement the project in other areas.

He said Rangoon, which is Burma’s biggest city, would receive 50,000 new houses from the project.

However, other officials cautioned that it would take time to reduce real estate prices.

“We can’t assume that a house currently worth 20 million kyat [US $23,500] will be available for 10 million kyat in the future,” said Aye Aye Myint, deputy director of the Urban and Regional Planning Department. “Selling prices will depend on construction costs.”

Aye Aye Myint said construction costs had increased from about 4,000 kyat previously for one square foot of development to more than 10,000 kyat, largely because building materials were becoming more expensive.

“The government also needs land to build on,” she said, adding that DHSHD would consult with officials from respective states and regions to acquire property.

Myint Naing said the housing project would initially focus on fixing up current units.

“Many existing homes need to be renovated because they’re outdated and not suitable for living anymore,” he said.

To continue the discussion on housing development, technicians from the ministry will join the Myanmar Engineering Society, the Association of Myanmar Architects, the Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association, and domestic and foreign companies during a conference in Rangoon on Jan. 20-21.

5 Responses to Burma to Build 1 Million Houses in 20 Years

  1. The speaking is in the air only, never change and keep going forever. what ever you discuss.

  2. Demolish the old ones in central Rangoon and replace them with new ones. Walking along Rangoon’s streets make many tourists sick and it makes our people look like stone age people.

  3. I’m still fairly young at the age of 18, I grew up in central Rangoon where there was no paving and I now live in London. When I went back for the first time in over a decade, I felt physically nauseated walking around the street in front of my old home. After such a long period of disassociation I had forgotten what it was like to live there (of course at the time I was unaware of the existence of concrete!) and the mere implication of new homes is relatively good news.

    Of course it’s understandable that most are aseptically; I am too, but if this is true then it would be great.

    As to what Unionite said, I think that’s thinking a step too far ahead. As opposed to demolishing old houses for new, you should at least establish more homes before replacing old ones; there’s already a lacking number of homes as it is in the country and Rangoon isn’t the only city that needs renovations and improvement. Bearing in mind Burma was rated one of the worst countries to live in (and unfortunately still has very poor standards as it is).

    • You mean skeptical. Can’t blame them if the track record of corruption and graft is anything to go by. Once everyone has pocketed their cut, people are left with substandard unsafe accommodation. This will be a money spinner for the cronies and the officials involved, so they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

      • Yeah autocorrect on my tablet made an error, sorry. And yeah, I’m not too optimistic about this either but the future is no longer so predictable as it was before.

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