THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
An Analysis of Rural Homelessness in Pakistan
The concept of developing the country without taking into consideration the development of the rural areas is meaningless. [United Nations (1968)]. More than 70 percent of the population in Pakistan lives in the rural areas. Therefore, there is a need to place greater emphasis on the development of these areas. One sector which needs special attention is housing. Analysing the housing situation in the rural areas, one has to take into account the structure of agricultural land ownership in the country as well as population growth. This is because rural poverty is intensified by the land tenure system which gives rise to a large number of landless labour households [Irfan and Arif (1988)] . One-third of the rural households, associated with agriculture, have access to a very small segment of cultivated land because of uneven land distribution [Government of Pakistan (1980)]. Besides this, low agricultural productivity is also an impediment to better rural housing. In this situation, the poor rural population, which cannot afford to own houses reside in the shelters provided to them by their respective landlords. A number of studies by Sandhu (1972); Ashfaq (1974) and Zaki (1981), have analysed housing issues in Pakistan but these studies, contribute towards understanding the housing problems in urban areas only as, they shed no light on the issues of rural housing in Pakistan where more than 70 percent of Pakistan’s popUlation live in sub-standard housing facilities. The present study gives an econometric analysis of rural homelessness in Pakistan.