Unlocking Dead Public Capital
Author: Azwar Muhammad Aslam

The prime land owned by the state in the cities is used to provide housing to government employees, these houses are constructed as single-storey units, which constitutes huge underutilization of land. This underutilized land, if utilized to its potential offers immense opportunities of employment and economic growth while addressing the problems i.e., excess demand for housing, commercial space and urban sprawl. We show this using the case of housing units constructed for government employees in G-6/1, Islamabad. The construction of 6 high-rise buildings, each having 450 apartments can host all the federal government employees currently allotted houses in G-6/1. These 6 high-rise buildings will consume 9 acres of land and will free up 77 acres of land in G-6/1 currently occupied by single-storey government houses (including streets etc). The auction of freed up 77 acers will generate a revenue of Rs 52.2 billion for the government. After auction, the private sector can build 36 high-rise buildings on this land having 16,200 apartments. This will decrease the housing backlog of Islamabad by 16 percent. The construction of above mentioned 42 buildings will increase the GDP by 0.09 percent along with generating huge employment. The opportunity cost, in the shape of travel cost that will be incurred if the residents of the proposed apartments were to live 34 kilometers away from the city center. We estimate that this opportunity cost is approximately Rs. 4.42 billion. The economic benefits mentioned here will accrue just by replacing single storey government houses with high rise apartments. If the entire government housing in Pakistan is replaced with high-rise apartments and the freed-up land is utilized for residential and commercial purposes benefits of mammoth proportion shall accrue to the economy. Supervisor:- Dr. Idrees Khawaja Co-Supervisor:- Dr. Ahmad Waqar Qasim

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Supervisor: Muhammad Idrees Khawaja
Cosupervisor: Ahmad Waqar Qasim

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