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5 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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Community housing makes slum dwellers happy in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI: At one night before going to sleep, Haider Ali told her wife with a deep voice: "Parita, I had never thought, even in my dreams, that I'd be able to live in such a good house."
They had just moved to their new house, which they constructed with support from Community Housing Development Fund (CHDF) and recently phase-out Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction Project (UPPRP) - a UKAID-funded project executed by UNDP with technical support of UN-Habitat.
With technical support from the UPPR Project poor people of Rajshahi city have established a CHDF, a revolving fund for providing land tenure security and better housing for the urban poor.
Rajshahi CHDF has provided housing support for 140 families in 27
settlements in 19 wards out of total 30 ones in the metropolis. Around Taka 35, 60,000 have been distributed as housing loans from the fund. CHDF has established a process for providing land tenure security and housing. Through a number of primary savings groups,
CHDF is operating its financial activities. Like Parita's settlement all those improved settlements previously known as slums are now well-designed community housing.
Noor Islam, executive engineer of Rajshahi City Corporation, said the beneficiary communities identify and give priorities to the environmental, social and economic challenges they face as well as the required actions to address them.
More than 55,000 slum people under 173 community development committees (CDCs) have come together in anti-poverty savings scheme accumulating more than Taka 11.53 crore at present.
Through the savings and credit programmes, the communities now can operatetheir own savings schemes and create a revolving fund from which credit operations are being managed, added Engineer Islam, also member-secretary of the housing scheme.
Against the savings, the community members received collateral-free loan for operating micro-business besides addressing their emergency needs and other family purposes and the credit figure has been cumulated to around Taka 81.69 crore.
After taking loan from CDCs, many of the members are operating different kinds of micro business successfully allowing them to have access to a regular income.
The poor communities operate their own savings scheme along with creating a revolving fund from which credit operations are managed through the savings credit programme generating a new dimension towards women empowerment and curtailing urban poverty.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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