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Million-home dilemma

A residential area of Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon. A draft housing policy suggests that Cambodia will require more than a million additional houses by 2030 to handle the country’s growing population.
A residential area of Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon. A draft housing policy suggests that Cambodia will require more than a million additional houses by 2030 to handle the country’s growing population. Vireak Mai

Million-home dilemma

A soaring population and increased migration to urban areas will create demand for more than a million new homes by 2030, according to a draft national housing policy.

Approved by the Council of Ministers on Friday after a series of revisions, the draft highlights the increasing pressure placed on cities as a result of economic migration in a society still recovering from the destruction of infrastructure during the civil war and Khmer Rouge period, a government statement says.

“According to estimates, in 2030, the Cambodian population will reach 18 million and Cambodia may need an additional 1.1 million houses,” the draft policy is quoted as saying.

Sia Phearum, secretariat director of the Housing Rights Task Force, said he welcomed the government’s move towards adopting a draft housing policy after it had engaged in much-needed consultation with civil society.

“We would have felt a lot of regret if the government had approved the previous drafts because they did not serve the public interest, only the powerful,” he said, adding that this version would better protect poor people trying to gain access to proper housing.

The draft will now be sent to the National Assembly.

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