After 70 years of Independence, India is still struggling for the basic necessities of a lower income group section. Affordable Housing – providing basic shelter still is a problem, without any concrete steps taken to tackle it.
A report by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA) in the year 2012 estimated demand of around 18.78 million homes, majorly by the weaker unit of the society. This urged the Government to introduce the affordable housing concept in India.v
‘Housing for all by 2022’, an initiative launched by Mr. Narendra Modi in 2014, Real Este Regulations Act (RERA), got implemented in the year 2017 to regularize the real estate transactions, along with it a unified Taxation Law – Goods and Services Tax (GST), was put to effect in 2017. These were some of the steps to speed-up the affordable housing scheme in India.
Despite all these encouraging schemes and laws passed by the government, there are several challenges faced by the real estate sector. Let us discuss the top challenges faced by the affordable housing in India and some rapid solutions to them.
- The dearth of Land –
With the need for housing, the requirement for land has also increased. The lack of availability of urban land at a reasonable price is a major constraint restricting the desired growth and implementation of affordable housing in India.
- Rising Approval Costs –
The lack of affordable land in the main cities, leads to pushing these projects into rural, pre-urban or countryside areas. This, thus, increases the requirement for connectivity and decreases the value of the affordable housing scheme.
- Debatable Policy Framework –
Many Builders and Developers are still confused about this concept of housing. They believe that although this housing scheme has the power to take away all the problems of buying a house in the country, the execution of this scheme is pretty confusing.
- Financial Literacy –
The Government has introduced many finance schemes for the weaker sections of the society, lower income group and middle-income group. However, the lack of financial literacy is the biggest roadblock ceasing them from enjoying these benefits.
Solutions to These Challenges
Educating the lower income group, weaker sections of the society and the middle-income group about the financial schemes and aids offered to them by the Government.
There is a dire need for the government to free up land in the urban localities to offer stretch for the development of affordable flats and houses for sale in India.
Offering affordable housing to all with reduced interest rates is a step taken by the government and the segment targeted, should be made aware about it.
The Government needs to work to improve the connectivity of the cities.
As per this scheme, it is important to help the poor and create a roof over their heads instead of looking at this scheme as a money making scheme.
Any form of Government Taxes, charges and fees which is levied at this project should be removed, to encourage the developers and builders to invest in this initiative.
While there is no doubt that this scheme has provided many people have ‘a home to call as their own’. Nonetheless, these pain points should be addressed as early as possible because with rapid urbanization the matter will escalate exponentially.
By acknowledging these challenges, the government can come up with solutions to ensure that the ‘Affordable Housing’ or the ‘Housing For All’ mission, is a win-win for both the people and the Government of India.