Housing in India
Issues related to housing sector in India
Un-planned growth of settlements
A number of housing clusters have mushroomed in and around various metropolitan centres in haphazard and unplanned manner, without a proper layout and devoid of service lines and other essential facilities. These unauthorized developments are encroachments on land parcels belonging to Govt. bodies, public- private-institutions or areas meant to be green belts. The removal/ re-settlement of these overcrowded un-hygienic clusters, commanding massive vote banks, is a serious challenge to correcting these aberrations for a planned growth of cities, especially in our democratic set-up? Therefore, massive concerted effort needs to be made with best of administrative actions and deft political handling for the sake of our future generations.
Non availability of developed land and ineffective and unfavorable land management
There is dearth of developed and serviced land parcels at reasonable rates, especially to meet the needs of most needy section of society. The slum clusters currently inhabited by these deprived sections are located in high land cost neighborhoods near central business districts of the metropolitan centres. These land parcels dotted with shanties apart from being eye sores and not properly serviced also mean in-appropriate and gross under utilization of precious land banks.
There is lack of development and enforcement of master planning for long–term growth of cities with earmarked areas for different sectors of growth like light/heavy industry, commercial, Education, health, housing forests and parks etc. serviced by appropriate infrastructure and transportation system. Therefore earmarking of appropriately serviced land with needed infrastructure and growth promoting land management policy are the urgent need of the time.
For Affordable Housing to be truly sustainable, it is important for both development and throughput to be speedy and large scale. However, the lack of affordable and adequately sized land parcels in inner urban localities has driven the development of Affordable Housing to urban peripheries. This is turn often poses a challenge to the Affordable Housing customer, who requires efficient connectivity to areas of work in city business districts. The development of effective mass rapid transit systems is the solution to facilitate easy commute and reduce travel time.
Housing Schemes In India
Rajiv Awas Yojna
Launched in 2009, the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) envisages a slum-free India and encourages state and union territories (UT) to bring all illegal constructions within a formal system. To increase the affordable housing stock under the scheme, the Centre has approved the Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP) scheme to be part of the RAY. The scheme also provides support of Rs 75,000 per economically-weaker sections (EWS), Dwelling Units (DUs) of the size of 21 to 40 sqm. So far, over Rs 1,398 crore has been spent while nearly 46,000 houses have been developed under the scheme.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) (Urban)
Also called the Housing For All scheme, PMAY was launched in 2015 and aims to deliver houses for the homeless by 2022. While the centre is offering assistance to all states and UTs, it will also provide home loan interest subsidy for those buying their first home in urban areas. Under the scheme, the government will provide interest subsidy of three to four per cent for a home loan amount of up to Rs 9 lakh and Rs 12 lakh. So far, over 3 lakh homes under PMAY (urban) have been constructed against a target of 40.6 lakh by 2022.
Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana
Previously known as Indira Awas Yojna, this scheme focuses on providing pucca houses with basic amenities to homeless families. The objective is to build one crore homes of 25 sqm by 2022. The government provides financial assistance by sharing the cost of construction with the state in the ratio of 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for north eastern and hilly areas. The cost for the unit assistance of Rs 1.2 lakh is also provided to the beneficiary belonging to households without shelter, destitute/living on alms, manual scavengers, tribal groups and legally released bonded labour. So far, about 28.8 lakh homes have been constructed against a target of 1 crore by 2022.
PPP for housing sector in India
The Affordable Housing stakeholder community is diverse and includes the Central Government, State Governments, real estate and infrastructure developers, financial institutions, urban planners and, most importantly, urban dwellers. Backed by a strong mandate of the Central Government, whose recent announcement to start building homes for the urban poor across 305 cities and towns is expected to boost the economy, the Affordable Housing segment has the potential to offer a multitude of opportunities to all stakeholders, provided there are concerted and aligned efforts in a common direction.
In this context, the private sector can play a significant role in bridging the current deficit of Affordable Housing. In an ideal PPP scenario, the public sector could look into aggregating land for projects, providing single-window and time bound clearances, redrafting the local development byelaws to suit the requirements of Affordable Housing projects and re-evaluating the taxes and levies from the perspective of reducing cost of home ownership for the target segment; private sector entities can leverage core competencies such as Planning & Design, Project Development, Technology best practices, Project Financing, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing.