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

HousingSubscribe to Housing

Struggles for Housing in a Democracy

Housing and Politics in Urban India: Opportunities and Contention by Swetha Rao Dhananka, Cambridge University Press, 2020; pp xvi + 232, `446.

Rent Generation, Social Networks and Urban Transformation in Minority-dominant Neighbourhoods of Kolkata

Rent generation activities and social networks crafted through urban transformation in Tiljala and Topsia, prominent low-income and minority-dominant neighbourhoods in south-east Kolkata, have shaped a precarious existence for the settlers, fragile informal livelihoods and housing access. Social networks of varied state and non-state actors driving rent generation illustrate how increasing slum verticalisation produces an urban landscape characterised by political “monopolisation,” fragmented infrastructure and environmental vulnerability. This transformation raised on a scaffold of precarity, anxiety, and risk brings up critical questions about its legal future and governance implications in the city’s poor and low-income settlements.

Housing In-kind Is Not Enough

This article draws on findings from a project at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies (an ICSSR institute) conducted between July 2019 and February 2020 titled “Women Negotiating for Family Housing and Work: A Study on Quasi-Live-in Domestic Workers.” The author gratefully acknowledges valu

What Ails the Urban in the ‘Emerging Economies?’

Urban Housing, Livelihoods and Environmental Challenges in Emerging Economies edited by Rajesh Bhattacharya and Annapurna Shaw, Orient BlackSwan, 2021; pp xviii + 418, `1,535 (paperback).

Housing for Migrant Workers

With there being almost no housing policies for lower income migrant workers in the country, Kerala has attempted to address this problem by introducing a state-level housing policy called Apna Ghar. This article examines the policy’s effectiveness by exploring the “housing–work” relation in the existing housing sub-markets in Kerala’s Ernakulam district, in which the residential typologies inhabited by such worker groups are examined as to their economic affordability, service/amenities adequacy, workplace accessibility and ease of renting/shifting habitations.

Strategic Approaches to the Right to Housing

The Legal Right to Housing in India by Anindita Mukherjee, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2019; pp 224, $44.99.


Status of Denotified Tribes

A study on the socio-economic and educational status of denotified tribes reveals that members of these tribes are plagued by chronic poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, health complications, and substandard living conditions, apart from the label of ex-criminals. They face an identity crisis in the absence of statutory documents and therefore, need special policies for their welfare and upliftment.

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.

Formula Does Matter

Amid the chaos around the new gross domestic product figures put out by the Central Statistics Office, profound improvements made in another prominent statistical marker--the Consumer Price Index--also compiled by the CSO, went unnoticed. The CPI series was revised to a more recent base year, 2012. This alone probably deserves commendation as base years of other national price indices have grown significantly remote. It is indeed a tectonic shift in estimation procedure and conforms to international best practice concerning CPI. Here we discuss the decision of CSO to replace the arithmetic mean with the geometric mean in the updated CPI indices by going through each of the established approaches to index number theory used to identify the appropriate formulation to calculate basic indices.

Delinking Housing Cycles, Banking Crises, and Recession

The nexus of housing boom-busts, banking crises, and economic cycles is not unique to the last crisis and has been increasingly present in each of the major banking crises since the break-up of Bretton Woods in the early 1970s. Housing is a politically charged issue. A safer housing market, via planned fiscal intervention to steady supply, would do more to make the financial system safer than all of the other recent initiatives put together. Cheaper finance without cheaper homes only deepens housing inequality.

Housing : Viable Foundation

It is interesting that in the current scenario of downturn in almost every sector of the economy, the relatively newly emergent housing sector should exhibit such confidence. All the 29 approved housing finance institutions in the country have shown soaring disbursals, a rise of 39 per cent from Rs 9,000 crore in 1999-2000 to a projected Rs 12,500 crore this year. Partly this is a result of the incentives in the budget in the last two years when housing has been treated as a priority sector. Other policy initiatives include changes in the land ceiling laws, tax concessions and lower interest rates. Equally however, the boom is prompted by the depression in the economy and the falling real estate prices which have made middle class urban housing affordable. Today the cost of a house is four to five times the annual salary of a typical user of housing loans whereas in the past it used to be 14-15 times the salary of a borrower. In this light to suggest that the current housing boom may encourage a rising demand in the depressed construction-related sectors such as steel and cement would be optimistic.

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