The Challenges and Opportunities of Affordable Housing in India

As other developing economies, India is also touching the boundaries of urbanisation and the pace of it is quite evident with the increase in percentage of urban population in recent past. As per Indian census, in 2011, 31% of Indian population contributed to urban population. According to estimates, around 600 million people are expected to make urban India their home by 2031, a whopping 59% growth over 2011. And to match this growth, the infrastructure of our country also needs to be developed. In India, home ownership is a dream for most of the “emerging middle class group”, “economically weaker sections” and “lower income groups”. They face various challenges when they think of buying any property.

  • The distance between the house and connecting areas makes a big difference on buying decisions of prospective buyers. The lack of land available in urban area makes the task of builders very difficult, this in turn poses a challenge to potential “affordable housing” customer of the connectivity with his work areas in the cities. This can be overcome if there is a rapid transit system of transportation available in the area.
  • The knowledge of various documents which needs to be provided to avail home loan facilities, still lack in various sections of society. This makes the task difficult for them to avail the loan facilities. Various financial institutions of our country should step forward and provide financial literacy to each section of society so that they don’t be deprived of their rights.
  • Many sections of society still do not know about such affordable housing schemes. The companies undertaking such projects should come forward and run various programs to educate these sections.
  • The rising cost of constructions and various taxes levied upon the customers makes the buyers take a backseat. Government should step in and make various committees to rule out the unnecessary taxes and turn this into single window clearances which will make this scheme accessible to all the needy ones.

Going forward, Government and builders jointly can bring harmony to the lives LIG’s and EWS of the society. The construction pace of such projects should also be looked upon without compromising the quality. Various taxes on construction material can be exempted which will in turn reduce the cost of ownership. New age technology can be incorporated for faster completion of the projects and granting possessions. Also, the local byelaws regarding parking etc should also be fine-tuned. The urban infrastructure should also be developed in relation to affordable housing projects so that the increasing demand of urbanisation can be met with the infrastructure of city.

In a country like India where a bus driver owns a latest technology mobile phone, but lacks the ownership of his house, affordable housing scheme might bring a great change. It will serve as a ray of hope for those who really want to fulfill the dream of having their house.

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