KARACHI - The housing shortage in Pakistan is blowing out of proportion and to address this serious problem, government, banks and OFIs would have to take drastic measures. This was stated by Engr Farooq-uz-Zaman while talking to the delegation of Pakistan Mortgage Association headed by Abrar Ameen on their visit to ABAD House. The meeting was also attended by Vice Chairman-ABAD, Muhammad Arif Siddiq, Chairman (SR) Saleem Kassim Patel, Ex-Chairman Hafeez-ur-Rehman Butt, Syed Shahid Khairi, Muhammad Younus Lakhani and other senior members of ABAD. The World Bank and IFC have expressed their serious concerns on housing shortage in Pakistan, said Abrar Ameen. If immediate steps are not taken to tackle the housing issues of Lower and Middle Income Group, the consequences would be alarming. Farooq-uz-Zaman, elaborating the problems faced by the housing industry, further said that the seriousness of the problem could be adjudged from the fact that at international level the per room occupancy is 3.4 persons, whereas in Pakistan it is 6.7 person per room. The stock of dilapidated units has raised to more than 30pc. These units are over 30 years old and have outlived their technical shelf life. Chairman ABAD further said that the loan disbursement from HBFC for the last one-year has almost ceased and lower and middle income group has totally been ignored. The Housing Advisory Group, working under the auspices of State Bank of Pakistan had prepared very comprehensive recommendations on housing in Pakistan. These recommendations, if implemented, would have a very positive impact on the problem. If the lower and middle income group are not targeted, no housing finance plan would be able to deliver the desired results. Chairman ABAD ensured full support to banks and other financial institutions in preparation of mortgage systems. He said the housing finance is by all means the safest mode as the default ratio is less than 7pc.