Redefining Indonesia’s housing backlog for better decision-making

The housing backlog is often cited as the primary factor driving housing policy in a country or region. Unlike variables such as affordability, location, or land availability, the housing backlog figure uniquely influences policy decisions. Therefore, it is crucial to establish a clear, universally understood definition of the housing backlog to prevent misconceptions and misguided policies.

In Indonesia, this issue is particularly pressing due to its large population. Recent policies like the Tabungan Perumahan Rakyat (TAPERA) aim to address the housing backlog, reported at around 9.9 million units in 2023, down from 12.75 million units in 2020. This sharp decline raises questions about data reliability and the underlying factors contributing to the reduction.

A key challenge lies in the differing approaches of the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (MPWPH) and the Bureau of Central Statistics (BPS). While MPWPH excludes rental households from its figures, BPS includes them, resulting in significant discrepancies. Additionally, BPS's method of using household size instead of family size inflates the backlog numbers, often overlooking multiple-family housing. These differences highlight the need for a consistent and transparent approach to defining and calculating the housing backlog.

Think of the housing backlog figure like a fever. It is a symptom of an underlying issue, but to cure the illness, we need to understand the details.

Addressing the housing backlog effectively requires distinguishing between housing needs and housing demand, ensuring policies reflect the true housing dynamics of society. Understanding these differences is crucial for developing targeted and effective housing strategies that truly meet the needs of all community members. For a deeper dive into this topic and the intricacies involved, continue reading our article on the complexities and solutions surrounding the issue by clicking the button below. The article is available in both English and Indonesian, providing comprehensive insights accessible to a wider audience.

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Author: Restaditya Harris

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