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AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN INDIA: CURRENT SCENARIO AND HISTORY



  May 13, 2024

AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN INDIA: CURRENT SCENARIO AND HISTORY



Current Housing Scenario in India:

India is grappling with a significant housing shortage, exacerbated by rapid urbanization and population growth. According to a 2012 government report, India needed an additional 18.78 million houses to meet the demand. This figure rose to 29 million by 2018, indicating a severe urban housing crisis. Despite this, there are millions of vacant housing units, suggesting that many newly constructed houses do not meet the affordability or suitability requirements of the lower-income groups.

History of Housing Schemes in India:

India's efforts to address housing shortages began in earnest with the introduction of the Indira Awaas Yojana in 1985, focused on rural housing. Urban housing schemes gained prominence with the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in 2005 and subsequent initiatives like the Rajiv Awas Yojana. The Modi government furthered this with the launch of the Housing for All scheme in 2015, which includes the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for both rural (PMAY-G) and urban (PMAY-U) areas.

Status of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) Scheme:

- PMAY-Urban (PMAY-U): Launched in June 2015, this scheme aimed to provide homes to 1.18 crore urban families by December 2024. As of March 2024, the scheme has completed about 67% of its target, constructing approximately 80 lakh units. The scheme primarily benefits families with some capital and land, rather than the urban landless poor.

- PMAY-Rural (PMAY-G): Started in 2016, PMAY-G targets the construction of 2.95 crore houses, with significant financial contributions from both central and state governments. As of April 2024, 2.6 crore houses have been completed, with a significant portion of these homes either wholly or jointly owned by women.

State-Level Housing Schemes:

Various states have launched their housing initiatives to supplement national efforts. For example, the Andhra Pradesh government has been actively pursuing the Navaratnalu-Pedalandariki Illu scheme, with significant land acquisitions and construction targets to provide homes primarily registered in the names of women, enhancing their empowerment.

Challenges and Way Forward:

While there has been considerable progress, challenges such as high land and construction costs, economic viability of low-cost housing, and urban congestion remain significant hurdles. The effectiveness of these schemes often depends on coordinated efforts between the central and state governments and the incorporation of provisions that directly address the needs of the most economically vulnerable groups.

By continuing to focus on these areas, along with enhancing the affordability and accessibility of housing, India can make substantial strides toward resolving its housing crisis, ensuring that the poll promises of affordable housing lead to tangible improvements in the lives of its citizens.



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