Housing at Uttara Model Town in Dhaka City
serve the middle class as a whole. Almost 75% of the plots were not inhabited by 80s. Presently more than 50% plots of the newly developed sectors on west of township are still lying vacant. The main cause is the affordability of the middleclass group. The middle class in the last three decade have stretched to three income groups: the upper income group, the mid income group and the lower income group. The main difference between the low-income middle class and the low-income group is that of education as well as the income level. We see in the late 80s and 90s with the rise of land price a number of plots owned by people were being sold. The buyers were from the higher middle class group who do not own a land in Dhaka or the businessmen of different income. Some owners are still holding to get advantage of higher land value. Thus in the end the land owners here are predominantly from the high income group.
Figure: 1 View from the roof top of the project towards northeast, the Sonargaon Road, Uttara Model Town.
Motivation for the Choice of Study
The problem was identified by the author in 1998 while being involved in the implementation period of the individual house in the Uttara Model Town area. It was observed that the plots adjacent to the site were all vacant. During the construction period of two years of the project, some of the plots have been sold and the construction was beginning on those sold plots. There was also a big concentration of spontaneous settlements nearby in commercial plot of public ownership, which was lying vacant. So there was also the problem of low-income group housing. The picture clearly explains the situation described. This prompted to undertake this research into the problem of affordability of different income group of middle class.
Presently government is planning for similar communities south- eastern part of Dhaka city with higher densities. There is a possibility that this new subsidised solutions will used for speculation by the plot owners, which was the same with the Uttara Model Town.
The planning trend set by this public project has been followed by the private sector. Many of the private sector neighbourhood plans with the same amenities or less have the same subdivision of plots for different income groups but with higher density. There is need for re- evaluating the planning of the plots.
There is a need to integrate novel solutions for the different income group within the middle class. Also integration of different social groups should be looked into.