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SOCIAL HOUSING IN MYANMAR: ISSUES AND WAY FORWARD

Authors:
  • Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University, Thailand

Abstract and Figures

Globally, both developed and developing countries are trying to be better in social housing provision. However, high poverty level and increased population are the major challenges for the government in developing countries. Myanmar is also facing the same problems; the government is in an emergency to provide the housing for citizens, especially in its most rapidly growing city of Yangon. The government has been planning to construct the "one million housing project" since 2011, which is expected to be accomplished by 2030. However, this target was not met for the first five-year fiscal plan. It is a question among the citizens whether the government will accomplish such a project in time. This paper was aimed to identify the current issues of social housing provision in Myanmar, and to identify some possible coping strategies. This was achieved through a systematic review of literature and a series of interviews with selected individuals who were involved in social housing in Myanmar. The findings highlighted some key issues in Myanmar social housing industry and its provision, and recommends possible approaches to rectify the problems.
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2018 Joint Asia-Pacific Network for Housing Research and Australasian Housing Researchers Conference
Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia, June 6-8 2018
SOCIAL HOUSING IN MYANMAR: ISSUES AND WAY
FORWARD
Su Su Nwal
PhD Candidate, School of Civil Engineering and Technology, Sirindhorn
International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University, Thailand.
Kriengsak Panuwatwanich
Assistant Professor, School of Civil Engineering and Technology, Sirindhorn
International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University, Thailand.
Abstract
Globally, both developed and developing countries are trying to be better in social
housing provision. However, high poverty level and increased population are the major
challenges for the government in developing countries. Myanmar is also facing the same
problems; the government is in an emergency to provide the housing for citizens,
especially in its most rapidly growing city of Yangon. The government has been planning
to construct the “one million housing project” since 2011, which is expected to be
accomplished by 2030. However, this target was not met for the first five-year fiscal plan.
It is a question among the citizens whether the government will accomplish such a project
in time. This paper was aimed to identify the current issues of social housing provision in
Myanmar, and to identify some possible coping strategies. This was achieved through a
systematic review of literature and a series of interviews with selected individuals who
were involved in social housing in Myanmar. The findings highlighted some key issues
in Myanmar social housing industry and its provision, and recommends possible
approaches to rectify the problems.
Keywords: Social housing in Myanamar; Affordability gaps; Issues of social housing
industry.
Su Su Nwal is a PhD candidate at School of Civil Engineering and Technology,
Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology. She specialises in project management
and social housing development. She holds a master degree in structural engineering from
Mandalay Technology University, Mandalay, Myanmar and bachelor degree in civil
engineering from Technological University (Mandalay), Myanmar.
Kriengsak Panuwatwanich is Assistant Professor at the School of Civil Engineering
and Technology, Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT) in Thailand.
Prior to joining SIIT, he was a Senior Lecturer and Program Director at the School of
Engineering, Griffith University in Australia. He currently serves as the President of the
Association of Engineering, Project, and Production Management (EPPM). He also
served as the 2014 Chairman of Engineers Australia Gold Coast Regional Group.
2
INTRODUCTION
Myanmar public housing provision was established in 1951 and totally 101,136 housing
units have been provided in 2018. It has been 67 years that rental, low-cost, middle-cost
and high-cost housing were provided to citizens across the country, especially in Yangon.
Yangon, the largest economic city center of Myanmar, is composed of 33 townships and
has a population of about 8 million in 2017; it was about 5.2 million in 2014 (DOP, 2015).
Because of increasing urban population, housing shortfall is inevitably encountered.
Myanmar government has announced “million homes plan” to fulfil the housing need for
its citizens. The government housing department, Department of Urban and Housing
Development (DUHD) has planned to provide 20 percent of total targeted housing units
and 80 percent of housing need to be provided by the government and private sectors.
However, in the last fiscal five-year from 2011 to 2015, the total housing units
provided by DUHD in the period of five years was not met the targeted five-year fiscal
plan. Because of this, the main questions are: (1) “is the targeted housing units are actually
fulfilled housing needed?” (Myanmar Times, 5 April 2017); and (2) “whether the targeted
housing units could be accomplished on time?”. With respect to the identified issues, a
series of interviews were also conducted with responsible persons in the social housing
sector to gain deeper understanding into the identified issues. Based on the results, this
paper recommends the possible solutions to attain better social housing industry in
Myanmar.
SOCIAL HOUSING AND ITS CHALLENGES
Overview
Social housing is defined as “houses and flats that are owned by local government or by
other organizations that do not make a profit, and that are rented to people who have low
income” by Cambridge dictionary. Social housing can alternatively be used as public
housing. Social and public housing are affordable housing; they are delivered at
affordable prices to low-income families. Government and non-profit organizations are
normally providing social housing to certified low-income people. Social housing is home
for poor citizens who are struggling with their accommodation cost. Social housing is
typically delivered by government allocation scheme. The main function of social or
affordable housing is to provide housing with reachable prices for the poor. (Shelter in
England, 2018)
Social housing is an interesting topic in many different fields such as political and
economic (ideology), civil (engineering), environmental, anthropology and even in
psychological fields. Development of social housing provision depends on political status
of the country and housing policy intensely. Successful social housing provision and
economic development of the country are correlated. Moreover, housing industry is a
strategy to develop the country’s economic and “housing sector needs to be given serious
consideration in economic growth strategies” (Godwin, 2006). Likewise, quality of social
housing effects on social and health of the residents. A survey showed that “the social and
health outcomes of managed housing upgrade programme are predominantly positive”.
(Wouter et al., 2017)
Global Social Housing Challenges
About 330 million households in urban area are unaffordable housing rental cost across
the world (McKinsey Global Institute, 2014). Their normal consuming such as food,
schooling for children, transportation, and other social expenses are considered to be 70
3
percent of their income whiles the remaining 30 percent of incomes is for accommodation
cost. However, 30 percent of their income is still out of reach the prices of housing and
affordable gaps also can be seen in both developed and developed countries. Cities across
the world struggle with the challenges of providing low- and middle-income families and
the housing provision for the poorest people. Local governments and non-profit housing
associations are distributing affordable housing while they are finding better solutions to
narrow down affordable gaps.
Due to the persistent challenges faced by government worldwide, research has been
conducted to identify possible approaches for successful national social housing
deliveries. McKinsey Global Institute (2014) carried out a study to address the global
affordable housing challenges and suggested the following four factors that can narrow
down the affordability gaps:
1. Land – finding new lands at appropriate location and reasonable prices. Location
must be easily accessible with the society. Land cost is the most important
factors in reducing the housing costs.
2. Development construction methods by industrial approaches and value
engineering are also crucial factors in reducing the construction time and cost
up to 30 percent and 45 percent respectively. Furthermore, construction cost can
also be saved by applying advanced procurement and advanced construction
technologies.
3. Operation and Maintenance – Establishing efficient rules and good governance
can eliminate the operation and maintenance cost, for example, improving
energy efficiency and partial purchasing by home owners.
4. Financing – Underdeveloped financing system, unregistered works of low-
income families and poor banking system in developing countries are the
challenges to attain financial assistance for tenants. Rental housing instead of
ownership will be more affordable for low-income household.
Akanbi et. al. (2017)’s research on critical success factors for achieving sustainable
social housing proposed the following economic success factors:
1. Creating “affordability” for people by providing subsidized housing, social
rental housing and mortgage system.
2. Good governance is a key driver to boost the economic growth to support
housing provision adequately.
3. Supplying “adequate funding” by governments or private sectors is an
unquestionable success factor for sustainable housing provision.
4. “Economic design” must be well organized to eliminate the future maintenance
cost by providing mixed development and “efficient use of resources” to reduce
the expansion cost.
5. To meet the needs of social housing, apply “appropriate technology” for
minimizing waste, conservation environment and the refurbishment.
6. “Efficient management” is also a way of alleviation the unnecessary costs that
makes more profit for stakeholders.
7. Providing amenities and infrastructure to social housing will be promoted
through “efficient economic planning”.
8. “Effective policies and legislations” drive the efficient provision actives of
social housing such as delivery systems, procurements and contracting.
4
Lessons Learned from the Selected Countries
In this section, lessons learned from four countries are carried out and the successful
strategies are enumerated. Singapore, Japan and Thailand are selected to carry out lessons
learned in this study. Japan and Singapore are developed countries and they have
successful background and experiences in public housing provision. Thailand is a
neighboring country for Myanmar and also it is a leading developing country in Southeast
Asia Region.
In the history of housing industry of Singapore, politics played a key role in
making the successful policies. The selected self-government supported the housing
association with legal power and effective policies to fulfill its commitment “housing
provision for all citizens” (Beng H. C., 2013). Social housing provision was successful in
Singapore by the support of its government because having legal power is key factors in
housing delivery systems. (Chua, B. H., 1997). For example, in 1967, Land Acquisition
Act allowed Housing Development Broad (HDB) to use the legal powers for land
acquisition to make redevelopment of slum more quickly (Urban System Studies, 2015).
Japan was not always successful in the history of public housing provision. They
have an experience of “collapse of the property bubble” in 1990s although they were
successful in housing restoration. It effected the economy negatively and made Japanese
people to loss their confidence unrelentingly. Moreover, decrease of population with lack
of young people and deflation are the factors to make that issue getting worse (Masahiro
K., 2016). Policy reaction to address the collapse of the bubble and detecting to prevent
forming the bubble are the main factors in the successful history of Japan social housing
industry.
Public housing has been provided in Thailand more than 40 years. It is
comparatively later than Myanmar housing provision. However, National Housing
Authority (NHA) has provided 729,048 units until 2010 (NHA, 2013). Thailand has also
an experience in accomplishment of “one million housing project” in (2002-2011) and
Baan Eur Arthon Project has delivered 600,000 units over the period of 5 years. The
government of Thailand provides subsidies in the amount of eighty thousand baht per unit
for the cost of construction of public utilities in 2003 to reduce the affordability gaps
(NHA, 2018). Thailand social housing provision was successful because of adequate
financial funding supported by government. Public housing provision in Thailand keeps
steadily increasing under the good management of NHA.
SOCIAL HOUSING IN MYANMAR
Affordable Housing Need in Myanmar
The population of Myanmar is increasing with greater urban population, from 35.3
million in 1983 to 51.48 million in 2014, nearly doubling over the period of 30 years
(DOP, 2017). In urban areas, population has increased naturally and due to migration
from local and foreign countries. As a result, urban population growth has dramatically
increased, necessitating an urgent need for housing provisions to accommodate the
demand.
According to 2014 census, the number of housing in Myanmar increased from 6.5
million in 1983 to 10.88 million in 2014. “Based on an estimate number of homeless
people and those living in other collective quarters, and the number of low-income people
with deficient living conditions, a core housing need of 3.8 million units was estimated
for the country” (DOP, 2017). It is expected to reach 15.68 million housing units for 70.56
5
million people in 2040. Therefore, additional housing needed will be 4.8 million units if
it is assumed to be 4.5 person per housing units (Myanmar Times, 10 Aug 2017). Current
housing need based on 2014 census and expected housing need in 2040 is illustrated in
Figure 2. According to the results, current housing provision plan for low-income people
is not enough for all to meet the aim of a Government Policy; “Adequate housing for all
citizens”.
Figure 2. Expected Housing Need by 2040.
Housing Provision in Myanmar
To accomplish the provision of one million units, twenty percent of this plan will be
constructed by DUHD, and 80 percent will be constructed by government and private
sector. Twenty percent of one million housing units (i.e. 200,000 units) to be constructed
over the period of 20 years. Total housing provision and housing provision by DUHD are
shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Five year course
No. Plan Year Total Housing
Provision
Housing
Provision by
DUHD
1. The first five-year plan 2011-2015 0.10 million 20,000
2. The second five-year plan 2016-2020 0.18 million 36,000
3. The third five-year plan 2021-2025 0.30 million 60,000
4. The forth five-year plan 2026-2030 0.42 million 84,000
Total 2011-2030 1 million 200,000
In Myanmar public housing provision history, although it was since 1951, housing
associations has provided public housing in the number of 101,136 units over the period
of 67 years. Only 69,280 units were delivered over the period of 59 years (1951-2010)
35.3
51.48
70.56
6.5
10.88
15.68
1983 2014 2040
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Year
Million People / Million Unit
Population
Household
6
and then housing provision was dramatically increased after starting “million homes
plan”. It reaches the number of 31,856 units in the course of eight years. However, rental
housing provision for poorest citizens is still underdeveloped and comparatively less than
the ownership.
Table 3. Myanmar Social Housing Provision.
No Periods
Rental Ownership
Total Remark
Rental
Housing
Staff
Housing
Low-
cost
Mid-
cost
High-
cost
1 1951-
1961 6,601 - - - - 6,601
Before
“million
homes
plan”
2 1962-
1988 3,393 7,637 - - - 11,030
3 1989-
2010 - 73 3,448 45,655 2,473 51,649
4 2011-
2015 1,424 3,180 4,376 3,748 1,210 13,938 first five-
year plan
5 2016-
2017 - 2,308 1,888 1,792 16 6,004
second
five-year
plan
6 2017-
2018 - 2,310 6,992 1,069 1,543 11,914
second
five-year
plan
Total 11,418 15,508 16,704 52,264 5,242 101,136
Source DUHD
According to this data, in the first five-fiscal year (2011-2015), housing provision
missed the targeted first term plan. Although the housing provision did not meet the
demand, some affordable housing units were unsold (Myanmar Times, 20 Oct, 2017)
because the housing prices are unreachable for low-income families. So-called affordable
housing prices are between MMK 11 to 30 million, which is nearly the same with the
market prices of other apartments constructed by for-profit private sectors. (Eleven
Myanmar, 30 September 2015).
In the period of second term plan, housing production was dominantly raised in 2017
due to the increased number of low-cost housing provision. In the period of 2016 to 2018,
total housing provision was 17,918 housings, which is nearly half of the second five-year
fiscal plan. If the providers keep this rate, the targeted second term may be accomplished
in time for second term plan. Surprisingly, there was no rental housing provision for
citizens in the period of 2016-2018 while poor citizens are expecting the rental housing
that they can afford.
7
Figure 3. Targeted housing Provision and Actual Housing Provision by 2018.
Myanmar Housing Policy Evolution
Yangon, the largest commercial city in Myanmar, was a seat for colonial government. In
the era of pre-independence, Yangon was urbanized by the British colonization. Myanmar
public housing provision has established after Myanmar was granted own government. In
1951, “Nation Housing, Town and Country Act” has established and started providing
social rental housing. Private sectors participation initiated in housing delivery in 1980’s.
Over the period of 6 decades, Myanmar was under the authority of military rules and the
country’s economic sectors including construction sector were underdeveloped.
Since 2011, Myanmar has been engaged in democratization, and promoting the
economic development. DUHD has committed a National Housing Policy in order to
implement the Government policy: “To upgrade living standards and provide adequate
housing for all the citizens” and the housing policy “million homes plan”. This plan began
in 2011 at the time of previous government. However, “a codified housing policy in
Myanmar has largely been lacking until November 2014” (DOP, 2017). The chronology
of Myanmar housing policy evolution is demonstrated in Figure 3.
National Habitat Report (2016) described “The National Housing Policy aims to
transcend the confine of government-funded public housing construction influence
policies of allied sectors in Myanmar”. Therefore, the actors and developers can
participate in the provision at an appropriate scale. However, both domestic and foreign
investment had some barriers such as high taxes and restricted policy. In the end of 2017,
government released Foreign Investment Policy and clarified Condominium Law to
attract the foreign investors. However, the government has not reduced the construction
taxes yet, that high rate of construction tax is one of the barriers for private developers.
20,000
36,000
60,000
84,000
13,938
17,918
2011-2015 2016-2020 2021-2025 2026-2030
0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
60,000
70,000
80,000
90,000
Year
Housing Unit
Targeted Housing
Provision by DUHD
Actual Housing
Provision
8
Figure 3. Illustration of Myanmar Housing Policy Evolution. (Japan-OECD)
Regulatory Bodies of Myanmar Social Housing Construction
Myanmar social housing construction industry is divided into two categories: government
and public-private sectors. Ministry of construction (MOC) and its department DUHD are
providing 20 percent of targeted plan and public-private sector provide 80 percent of
targeted plan. Myanmar construction sector is overseen by the Ministry of Planning and
Finance (MOPF). The previous government planned to supply one million housing units
to the citizens but the actual provision did not reach the targeted plan (Myanmar Times,
10 March 2017).
Industry bodies, including the Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association
(MCEA), collaborate with the government to help develop construction policy. MCEA
formed Myanmar Construction Development Public Co.,Ltd.(MCD) in 2015 and other
public company - Yangon Metropolitan Development Company (YMD), formed in 2017
- will start constructing the rental housing for government staff and low-cost housing for
government staff and pensioners, in 2018.
Material Usage, Technology and Standard
Myanmar constructions are mostly reinforced concrete buildings and steel. Precast
buildings are used for some high-cost and middle-cost housing. Most of low-cost housing
methods are traditional housing techniques and materials available in local areas. Further,
there is no standard for public housing to meet the minimum required qualities.
Myanmar is on the way to integrate the quality of housing with the assistance of
experienced foreign countries. To improve the design and quality of housing, MCEA
signed with Surbana Jurong, a Singapore based engineering consulting agency and JICA
form Japan to get the help for advising a prototype for low- cost apartment design.
Housing Finance Mechanism
Social housings are delivered by DUHD with long term mortgage system for low-cost
housing. Low-income families can buy a housing by opening account at the sub-
Traditi
onal
Shelter/ Space and Local Need
1920-
1947
Colonization and Urbanization
1950-
1997
1951 NHB Act, Public Housing Social Needs
1980-
2000
Private Sector Participation in Housing Delivery
2000-
2011
From Provider to Facilitator
2011-
Now
Adequate Housing for all Citizens
Lack of Housing Policy for Low Income
People and Rural Housing Need
National
Housing
Policy
9
government bank - Construction and Housing Development Bank (CHDB). They need to
save money in that account. If the amount of saving reaches 30 percent of housing price,
they can try the lottery in order to buy a housing, the remaining 70 percent of housing
prices will purchase monthly with mortgage system. The length of mortgage system is 8
to 12 years with interest rate of 12-13 percent, which rate is too high for low-income
families and it makes the original prices double after years.
There are 24 local banks in Myanmar which are interested in investing the low-cost
housing, however, they encountered difficulties such as unbanked and unregistered
informal works of low-income people and there is no “Apartment Law” that grantees the
ownership of the residents. Now, they are planning to support non-collateral Construction
Loans for small and medium size contractors. Government is also trying to fulfill the
financial need housing by taking a loan of 15 billion Yen from Japan with small interest
rate of 0.001 percent over a loan term of 40 years.
Affordability
According to 10,000 Household Survey by JICA 2013, 59% of monthly household
income in Yangon is between MMK 100,000 to 300,000 (low-income) and 18% is under
MMK 100,000 (poor). It means low-income families occupy the 59% of total households
and poor families do 18% of total households. Total urban housing need in Myanmar is
0.07 to 0.1 million units annually, therefore, number of low-cost housing need is 40,000
to 60,000 per year (59% of total housing need) and subsidized housing need is 13,000 to
20,000 units per year (18% of total housing need). (DUHD, 2017)
Current provided housing prices and purchase system (30 percent down Payment and
70 percent loan) is out of reachable prices for low and poor families. Even lowest housing
unit is need to purchase more than MMK 100,000 per month. That price is more than 30
percent of household income for average low-income families.
METHODOLOGY
Methodology used in this paper is qualitative analysis and can be divided into two parts.
The first one is reviewing secondary documents such as newspapers, reports, and
publication to identify the current status and issues of social housing in Myanmar. The
other part is interpretation paradigm to explore the underlying reasons and barriers to
provision of social housing. This part is carried out by interviewing responsible persons
from housing associations.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Four participants, two interviewees from DUHD and two interviewees from MCEA were
chosen for making interview. Interviews were carried out by partially constructed
questions based on the guide line of recommended solutions that mentioned above.
Moreover, these interviews explored the underlying reasons and problems that they
encountered.
Participant 1 (P1) is a Managing Director at DUHD and has over 30 year experiences.
Participant 2 (P2) is a Deputy Manager at DUHD and has over 20 year experiences.
Participants 3 (P3) and 4 (P4) are Executive Committee members at MCEA and have 20
year experiences.
The participants were contacted by phone and also social media. The interviews took
average 1 hour. The interviewing results are shown in Table 3 and discuss in below. In
the table, “S” refers to satisfied, “UN” refers to unsatisfied and “NM” represents not-
mentioned. If the participants discussed a factor in positive way, that factor was regarded
as satisfactory. If the participants have an option on a factor in negative way, that factor
10
was regarded as unsatisfactory. Some factors were not discussed in the interviews or they
do not have much attention on that factors. That factors were regarded as not-mentioned.
Table 3. Problems in social housing provision from Interviewing Results.
Barriers to Social Housing Provision in Myanmar P1 P2 P3 P4
1. Land
2. Development
3. Operation and Maintenance
4. Financing
5.. Affordability
6. Good Governance
7. Adequate Funding
8. Economic Design and Efficient Use of Resources
9. Appropriate Technology
10. Efficient Management
11. Provision of Adequate Infrastructure Services
12. Effective Policy and Legal Framework
1. Mortgage System
2. Financial Investment
3. Tax rates
4. Quality Control
5. Social Housing Standard
6. Efficient handling for Slum
7. Labour Efficiency
8. Apartment Law
9. Portfolio Management
NM
S
US
US
US
NM
US
NM
US
US
US
US
NM
NM
NM
US
NM
US
US
US
US
NM
NM
NM
US
US
NM
US
NM
NM
NM
NM
US
US
US
NM
US
US
NM
NM
US
NM
NM
NM
NM
US
US
US
US
NM
NM
NM
US
US
NM
US
US
US
NM
US
S
NM
NM
US
US
NM
US
US
US
US
NM
NM
US
US
US
NM
NM
US
NM
NM
NM
US
NM
US
S-Satisfied, US – Unsatisfied, NM – Not mentioned
The first four factors are recommended by McKinsey Global Institute and number 5
to 12 are recommend by Akanbi O. O. et al. These 12 factors were initial factors that were
used to guide the interviews. The participants discussed the current issues in Myanmar
housing provision based on these factors. Nevertheless, all participants did not discuss
about “Economic Design and Efficient Use of Resources”. The other remaining factors,
No.13 to No. 21 are were pointed out by the participants that they experienced in housing
provision and they are briefly discussed below.
1. Mortgage System – Myanmar government is providing mortgage system but the
interest rate is still high. Participating the domestic and foreign banks could not
start in near future because of informal works of low-income.
2. Financial Investment – unclear policy and unstable politics make confuse to the
developer and foreign investors for investment in the local affordable building.
They need apartment policy to grantee the ownership status. They are also
barriers to attract the investors.
3. Tax rates – construction taxes in Myanmar is 30 percent of the building. It is one
of the main barriers to construct housing for the developers.
11
4. Quality Control – MoC and DUHD is maintaining the quality of public housing.
However, their investigation and quality checking is not effective because of lack
of standard for public housing.
5. Social Housing Standard – this factors is the most governing factors for achieving
better livable standard quality housings.
6. Efficient Handling for Slum – the government has planning to provide low-cost
housing for the poor who live in slum area. To buy the public housing they need
to show the certificate of living in slum, as a consequence, corruptions occurs to
attain that certificate because of high demand. Efficient actions are urgently
needed to handle that problem.
7. Labour Efficiency – to reduce construction time and efficient construction
procedure, skilled labours play an important role. Some participants pointed out
and they were not satisfied on the lack of skilled labours in Myanmar
Construction Industry.
8. Apartment Law – Participants from DUHD discussed this factors as the crucial
factors to attain the financial investment from domestic and foreign banks for
developers and owners. Because this Law can grantee the ownership status of the
resident that makes the residents easier to get the loan.
9. Portfolio Management – They still use hand drawing map in the government
office and they also have weakness in the design documents for affordable
housing.
According to the results, the factors are ranked by the number of unsatisfied
participants. There are four first ranked unsatisfying factors that means all participants
pointed out that these factors are issues of social housing provision. They are “financing”,
“affordability”, “adequate funding” and “effective policy and legal framework”.
Although government has been trying to narrow down the affordability gaps by long term
mortgage system, the prices are still out of reach. The prices of housing are added by
infrastructure cost and taxes because government’s financial allocation does not include
for the infrastructure costs.
Moreover, they have difficulties in getting financial allocation from government;
inadequate funding, lack of supporting infrastructure and long waiting time to achieve the
financial allocation. Authorities are trying to set better policy because these policies do
not much efficient on the current situation and problems. In current situation, people are
grappling with rental accommodation fees and therefore they could not save 30 percent
of housing cost for down payment. Provide more rental housing will be better way to
attain the efficient housing provision.
“Quality control” and “provision of infrastructure services” are second high-ranked
problems for Myanmar social housing. Currently, Myanmar is in very initial stage to
establish third party consultants to control the quality of housing. MoC and DUHD are
overseeing the quality of social housing, however, more qualified third party consultants
are expected to comprise by the developers.
Other factors; “Good governance”, “efficient management”, “Financial Investment”,
“tax rates”, “efficient handling for slum”, “Labour Efficiency”, “Apartment Law” and
“portfolio management” are also underlying factors that need to be improved. While
participants from government association DUHD discuss the lack of Apartment Law is a
barrier to social housing provision, participants from private organization MCEA think
there is a weakness on the governance.
12
CONCLUSION
The crucial current issues in Myanmar social housing provision are financial problems,
efficient policies, rules and legislation. Financial problems such as affordability gaps,
unreachable prices due to insufficient support of infrastructure and high taxes can be
ratified by the efficient policies. Although, the successful housing provision can be
brought by the background of country’s economic. Provision efficient social housing can
drive the development of the economic. Currently, housing delivering depends on the
government’s financial allocation. Private Finance Initiative, domestic and foreign
investment to invest in rental housing will be the solutions of that problem. Required laws
and policies should be codify efficiently as soon as possible. Policy makers should collect
the evaluation of developers and end users to set the better and efficient policy.
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meet-target-on-low-cost-housing.html
Myanmar Times (20 Oct, 2017). “Nearly 300 low-price flats in Shwe Lin Ban
Unsold”. Received form https://www.mmtimes.com/news/nearly-300-low-priced-flats-
shwe-lin-ban-unsold.html.
Myanmar Times (10 March 2017). “Ministry aims 1 million housing units by 2030”
https://www.mmtimes.com/business/property-news/25267-ministry-aims-at-1-million-
housing-units-by-2030.html.
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Oxford Business Group (2016). Demand for public infrastructure and affordable
housing in Myanmar drives construction growth.
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... During the period between 1950 to 1980, public housings were provided as social need. Then the second phase kicked in due to another population boom and political changes in the city (Nwal and Panuwatwanich, 2018;Naing and Nitivattananon, 2020;Heeckt et al., 2017). The third strand started in 2010 after the country was transitioned to democracy and public housings were delivered again to address the growing informal settlements in the city which made up approximately 500,000 people in 2018 DUHD survey (Naing and Nitivattananon, 2020a). ...
... Due to the prolonged budget constraint, the funding to the rental housings for the public was halted and continued only as the government staff housings until late 1980s (Kraas, Faese and Kyi, 2006). Since then, Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development (DHSHD) which was reorganized from NHB under the military government focused on area development and changed its role from housing provider to facilitator by letting the private sector to take over the market (Nwal and Panuwatwanich, 2018). Being largely privatized, the housing market grew rapidly but became unstable and monopolized by the estate developers. ...
... However, the program was ineffective in upgrading the informal settlements as many of informal dwellers sold their permits or properties to the other well-off families or the developers and moved to the cheaper houses in outskirts or other informal settlement areas. The third policy strand under the democratic government focused on the revision of outdated regulations and the placement of new policies to stimulate private sector investment in high-end and estate development (Nwal and Panuwatwanich, 2018). As of 2020, National Housing Development Policy was under the draft to provide a regulatory framework and direction for affordable and low-cost housing development while the local government restarted the provision of low-cost housing units to the public through Yangon Region Government (YRG) and Department of Urban Housing and Development (DUHD) which was restructured from DHSHD in 2015 (Lall, Mitra and Sakuma, 2018). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study aims to explore the possible applications of public housing strategies in Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand to Yangon through examining their compatibilities in governance, socio-politics and economic contexts. Based on the current situations of Yangon, the policy transferability from Singapore can be difficult while there is a potential to adopt the policies implemented in Taiwan and Thailand. Singapore’s large-scale direct provision requires a strong commitment from the government; however, this aspect along with urban-rural migrations is a major constraint in Yangon. Considering the capacities of Department of Urban and Housing Development (DUHD), it is suggested to adopt various housing alternatives with more participatory approach. There is a potential to integrate Taiwan’s ways of private-public partnership rental housing program into Yangon’s public housing scheme but this would require updating of the current regulations to remain affordable for low-income families. Though it might be difficult for DUHD to fully operate as Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI) due to the centralized governance structure, it provides an alternative way for bottom-up approach in housing delivery for urban poor. The findings of this study can be applicable to both Yangon and other similar countries to solve the housing shortage problems while creating conditions of equity and affordability for low-income households.
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The overarching objective of social housing is to meet housing needs, particularly those of the vulnerable households – low and middle income earners. However, there is evidence to show that social housing is not adequately supported to achieve sustainable goals despite its significance for addressing the housing crisis. The aim of this study is to determine the critical success factors (CSFs) for achieving Sustainable Social Housing (SSH) from economic, environmental and social perspectives for meeting housing needs. The document content analysis approach involving relevant literature resources was used for generating the success factors (SFs) for achieving SSH. Findings from this approach were refined before using them in preparing a questionnaire used to gather data from housing authorities (public) and private non-profit social housing organisations in England and they were asked to rank the criticality level of the identified success factors. The data gathered through the relevant documents and respondents were analysed respectively with NVivo and Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Findings revealed some of the CSFs for achieving SSH for meeting housing needs as: adequate funding and provision, affordability, efficient economic planning, appropriate construction technology, environmental protection, use of environmental friendly materials, effective land use planning, appropriate design, security of lives and property, provision of social services and ensuring social cohesion. The paper recommends the use of efficient sustainable development (SD) strategies and legal and institutional frameworks for monitoring and evaluating the delivery of SSH. The Government must embark on effective housing programmes for ensuring adequate provision of social housing that is sustainable for meeting housing needs in the short and long-run. There is need for the Government to regularly provide financial supports to social housing providers and users for addressing the housing crisis.
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Should housing improvement be part of economic development strategies? Must housing improvement wait until high-economic growth is attained? How much priority should be given to housing in view of the limited resources in less-developed countries? What are housing benefits in economic development vis-à-vis other economic investments? These questions have generated heated debates, both in the literature on development problems and in planning and practice in the 1950s and 1960s. This paper draws on the accumulated body of knowledge resulting from past experiences in research and policy to revisit the earlier debates, survey the main lines of argument and reassess the economic potential of housing. It then attempts to generate broad policy considerations. The main contention of this paper is that in light of past and present evidence, the housing sector needs to be given serious consideration in economic growth strategies.
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Housing policies in Japan after World War II were focused on the quantitative supply of houses with a wide range of targeted groups and public rental houses. The Japan Housing Corporation (now the Urban Renaissance Agency) and the Government Housing Loan Corporation (now the Japan Housing Finance Agency) have served to address these policy targets accordingly. The restoration of housing stock was successful, but the collapse of the property bubble in the early 1990s caused negative impact on the real economy and created persistent loss of confidence among the Japanese people, which is exacerbated by deflation and negative demographic factors (decrease of the population and aging of society). Enhancement of the quality of houses is an important part of the housing policy in Japan, but, at the same time, there needs to be a balance between new construction and the activation of existing housing stocks. Given the social experiments currently underway, there is need to closely monitor the changes of market trends.
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The People's Action Party government of Singapore, which has been in power without discontinuity since 1959, is committed to a national housing program with universal provision of 99-year leasehold homeownership for all its citizens. Since 1961 to 2013, the Housing and Development Board, the public housing authority, has built more than one million high-rise housing units, accommodating approximately 90 per cent of the citizens and permanent residents, of which more than 85 per cent of the resident households are homeowners. This close to universal provision system has generated a set of perennial competing demands. Among them are (i) in view of the absence of a national pension scheme, the need to enable homeowners to monetize their public housing property to finance the retirement years, (ii) in order to facilitate retirement funding, public housing flats must be allowed to increase in asset values, to keep up with inflation and rising costs of living and (iii) new subsidized flats must be kept affordable for new entrants into the housing market. The management of these competing demands requires constant monitoring and intervention by the state in order to maintain a balance and sustainable system.
Myanmar Urban Development and Investment Opportunities
  • Duhd
DUHD (2017). Myanmar Urban Development and Investment Opportunities.
The Union Report. The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census
DOP (2015). The Union Report. The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census. Census Report Volume 2.
Thematic Report on Housing Conditions and Household Amenities. The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census
DOP (2017). Thematic Report on Housing Conditions and Household Amenities. The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census. Census Report Volume 4-I.
A Blueprint for Addressing the Global Affordable Housing Challenge
  • Mckinsey Global Institute
McKinsey Global Institute (2014). A Blueprint for Addressing the Global Affordable Housing Challenge.
National Habitat Report: The Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Myanmar Times (10 Aug, 2017). "4.8 Million Housing Units Required by 2040". Received from https://www.mmtimes.com/business/27200-housing-requires-2040.html Myanmar Times (5 April, 2017). "Will government meet target on low-cost housing?" Received form https://www.mmtimes.com/business/25595-will-governmentmeet-target-on-low-cost-housing.html Myanmar Times (20 Oct, 2017). "Nearly 300 low-price flats in Shwe Lin Ban Unsold". Received form https://www.mmtimes.com/news/nearly-300-low-priced-flatsshwe-lin-ban-unsold.html. Myanmar Times (10 March 2017). "Ministry aims 1 million housing units by 2030" https://www.mmtimes.com/business/property-news/25267-ministry-aims-at-1-millionhousing-units-by-2030.html. National Habitat Report (2016). National Habitat Report: The Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Quito, Ecuador. NHA (2012). Living Green. 2012 Annual Report, National Housing Authority. NHA (2018). Project of National Housing Authority. Received form https://www.nha.co.th/view/2/home #sthash.T6b3fbSo.dpuf