AFFORDABLE housing is the biggest challenge to urban people particularly in Dhaka city in the recent years. The city dwellers were pinning a lot of hope in the National Housing Authority (NHA) for arranging low cost housing to mitigate their problems. But the reality is different now as a report in a local English daily on Sunday said. The NHA has reportedly become a den of corrupt and inefficient officials who see their interest better served in prolonging the ongoing projects as a way of minting unearned income instead of completing project in time. Reports said it has already failed to complete the construction of 26 housing projects out of 29 for middle and lower-income people – both government employees and private individuals– even after long time of their stipulated timeline. Meanwhile, three projects were dropped showing difficulties in land acquisition. Meanwhile, the house rent in the city has jumped to several times in the past several years and there is no specific government agency to monitor and restraint the house owners from soaring the rents on tenants. We are aware of the existence of some laws with specific guidelines how far and at what interval house owners can increase the rent. But it is highly fishy as to why the government is not assigning any specific agency to see the implementations of the laws. There are allegations that powerful housing lobbies within the government are restringing the move and we suggest that the government must implement the law to bring relief to the common people. NHA on its part is blamed different problems for delaying construction of the ongoing projects which could bring some relief to some people if they could get the allotment. Moreover problem in land acquisition and contractors’ delay in mobilization and completion of the construction work are also blamed. It cites court battle over land acquisition for failing to start the work on the 1,020-flat project at Mohammadpur. But observers say market solutions to such problem in the private sector are more efficient and prompt than that showed by NHA. Meanwhile, it appears paradoxical that the NHA is failing in every project in one hand while it has undertaken more projects down to the upazila level on the other. As we see the draft housing policy of 2008 is based on some decent ideas to provide housing at affordable cost. But practical experience is rather disappointing as the so-called low cost, it is still far above the means of a middle income or low income people. . We hold the view that given the enormity of rural and urban housing problems only public sector efforts is not enough. Private sector initiative may also be an alternative along with the government under public-private partnership (PPP) programme. Moreover, NHA may be made more proactive by remodelling its structure and infusing dynamism in it by cleaning it from high level corruptions. The way the NHA is moving now will not be able to deliver anything in the near future. We suggest basic rethinking of strategy and actions as far as making housings affordable to common people.