Cities and urban settlements are emerging as engines of economic development and absorbing rural migrants. Why there is dire need to put low cost and affordable housing issues at the centre of urban and political agenda? The 21st century, has dumped the economy and employment opportunities at the heart of the cities. In 2015, globally more than 1 billion rural dwellers migrated towards cities in search of new jobs, quality life and education. From 2000 to 2015, the states on migrants were multiplying and annual migration rate from rural area towards urban settlements observed as 2.4 percent. Rural urban migration may be marked as a boon for the country’s economy but cities need to be equipped for housing rural migrants. Unprecedented rate of urbanisation is making urban settlements more vulnerable and prone to climatic changes, environmental degradation, poverty and housing shortage. Globally, 880 million inhabitants are residing in urban slums and shantytowns of developing countries and more than 2.4 billion people not have access to improved sanitation. The proliferation of urban settlements on global landscape has given gratitude to urban planning profession globally. The meteoric urbanization coupled with ill planned development induced lawmakers and urban planners to inline international policies, treaties and protocols with the principles of sustainable development. Pen friend of UN Habitat has committed to put low cost and sustainable housing issue at the centre of urban agenda. The ‘New Urban Agenda’ instigated at UN-HABITAT III organised in Quito and it has imparted the meticulous tone on the urban affairs by Sustainable Development Goal 11 ‘Sustainable cities and Communities’. SDG 11 exclusively inserted emphasis on sustainable, inclusive and live able cities for all through highlighting various indicators, targets and metrics. UN-Habitat has inclined their policies towards sustainable and inclusive urban development, which propound decent housing for all. Affordable housing has been considered as menacing challenge of this urban age, particularly the up gradation of anomalous proliferation of slums and shabby towns. The crux of the low cost housing issue is increasingly acknowledged among the signatories of the New Urban Agenda. One manifestation of this New Urban Agenda is enlightening that urban policies are now gaining gravity globally. New urban agenda has glutted political policies and practices with urban polices and placed ‘Housing at the Centre of urban agenda which is a strategic approach towards housing issues. This policy execute affordable and low cost housing at the centre of regional and local urban development policies and agendas. The pivotal focus of this centric approach is to develop an inclusive planning framework for low cost housing by bringing urban poor at the front line. The growing exigency to supply affordable housing to five million households of the country demands a paradigm shift in incumbent housing policy. Numerous studies emphasised that housing policy should be integrated with national and regional urban planning policies and legislative framework The growing exigency to supply affordable housing to 5 million households of the country demands a paradigm shift in incumbent housing policy. Numerous studies emphasised that housing policy should be integrated with national and regional urban planning policies and legislative framework. The focus of new housing policy should particularly encompass six factors in its latitude: housing need, housing demand, affordability benchmarks, accessibility, legal security of tenure to the dwellers of katchiabadies and housing finance mechanism approachable by destitute. Because housing is not only matter of one roof and 4 walls, it is a matter of socio-economic conditions of target population to whom the newly formed government wants to provide adequate shelter. Affordable housing policy should be fundamental component of socio-economic and urban planning policies of the country. Federal and local development authorities act as wheels of this policy design for the smooth implementation of policy deliverables at local administrative tiers of the country and ensure egalitarian and conducive environment for real estate developers. Naya Pakistan housing model should complement the needs and priorities of the lower crust of the society and clearly draw a line between housing need and housing demand. Housing need primarily based on the difference between the existing housing stock of the country and what is needed to house particular segment. Housing need primarily based on social benchmarks and rather than commercial or market oriented parameters. Now, government needs to have clear picture in their policy either they will address the housing need or housing demands which is substantially based on peoples choices and abilities to pay for desired housing. Housing affordability is a tenacious problem, which not only muddle households but it also has repercussions for macroeconomic and environment of the country in terms of employment, access to health and education facilities. Housing affordability typically measured and assessed in terms of ratio between housing expenses and income. Internationally, the studies suggested that housing expenses should not be more than 25 to 35 percent of the household’s gross income then it is regarded as affordable housing. Noticeably, Government should knock doors of urban planners and urban economist for the development of housing affordability criteria for different sections of society based on their income level, which can be used to categorize households qualified for new housing provision, as well as to gauge housing charges to be levied to the potential households. ‘Rule 10-J of Punjab Private Housing Schemes and Land Sub-division Rules 2010’ necessitates private housing schemes developers to allocate and reserve 20 percent of the housing scheme’s plots for low-income group. There is a pressing need to assess either development authorities ensuring this 20 percent provision in new private housing schemes. Further, the prices of these plots are affordable to low income groups and just this partial provision in private housing schemes rules sufficient to ensure low-income housing. Moreover, it is imperative to analyze the market forces, which make these 20 percent plots unaffordable and even exorbitant. The present byelaws and private housing schemes rules and regulations further make the housing inaccessible for the poor. Consequently, these regulatory blunders also call for legislative interventions by government in collaboration with urban planners and development specialists to portray the exigencies of unprivileged section of the country. The writer is a Research Associate at the Urban Sector Planning and Management Service Unit Lahore. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, October 26th 2018.