ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Arjun KumarSubscribe to Arjun Kumar

Housing for the Urban Poor?

Recent modifications in the credit linked subsidy scheme—an important vertical under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)—have raised the income limits for eligibility of loans, increased the amount of subsidised loans, relaxed norms with regard to built-up area, and importantly, have included the middle-income group, diluting its core agenda of being “pro-poor.” While this would boost the housing sector, there is risk that subsidies will be cornered by real estate developers, private builders, and the urban middle class. The planners must view this development with concern.

India's Residential Rental Housing

Rental housing is an integral part of the housing tenure systems in cities, and is also integral to the stages of a migrant's upward mobility from squatter settlement to ownership housing. An examination of the residential rental housing situation in India during the last decades using data from the Census of India and the National Sample Surveys finds that more than one-tenth of the households in India lived in rented houses in 2011, of which almost four-fifths of the total households living in rented houses in India were in the urban sector. Moreover, while the issues of shelter deprivation of many households and the question of affordability of shelter remain, a new phenomenon of a sharp rise in the number of vacant houses during the last decade has added to the severity of the housing problem. It establishes the manifestation of rising inequality between those in need of housing and those in abundance.

Discrepancies in Sanitation Statistics of Rural India

The inadequate availability of drinking water and proper sanitation, especially in rural India, leads to innumerable deadly diseases, harms the environment, and also affects vulnerable populations, such as persons with disabilities and women, exposing them to sexual violence. Providing access to sanitation facilities in rural areas of India has been on the agenda of the Government of India for the past three decades. However, a reinvigorated thrust to provide adequate sanitation facilities in rural India is the need of the hour, which must be accompanied by constant scrutiny and monitoring, so as to arrive at apt decisions and policies for further action.

Estimating Rural Housing Shortage

The working group on rural housing for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan estimated the rural housing shortage in India to be 43.13 million in 2012. Using the latest data sets - Census 2011 and the National Sample Survey housing condition round for 2008-09 - and the improved methodology used by the technical group on urban housing shortage, this paper re-estimates the rural shortage to be 62.01 million in 2012. Households living in temporary houses and in congested conditions were found to be mainly responsible for the rural housing shortage. The results suggest the need for holistically focusing on eradicating shelter deprivation in rural India and contributing to an enhancement of the quality of life of the people.
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