The five-year-old scheme offers an interest subsidy of five per cent a year for housing loans of the poor.

Kerala is among the States that have taken advantage of the Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP) of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

The five-year-old scheme offers an interest subsidy of five per cent a year for housing loans up to Rs. 1 lakh with terms between 15 years and 20 years taken by those in the economically weaker section and low-income group.

A National Housing Bank report on the state of housing in the country for 2013 says Rs. 8.17 crore had been cumulatively disbursed to 9,126 beneficiaries in eight States in the country under the scheme.

Andhra Pradesh accounted for Rs. 5.74 crore and Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, the rest.

The report says that various States have taken steps to ensure affordable housing for the economically weaker section and low-income group in urban areas.

The steps include the Haryana Affordable Housing Policy, which allows development of mass housing projects at affordable rates for the public through relaxation of norms on density and floor area ratio (FAR).

The report says the Odisha government has taken steps to ensure land availability for housing for the urban poor and provides provisions for cross-subsidisation through a higher FAR and transfer of development rights.

A policy initiative by the Andhra Pradesh government ensures that at least five per cent of the land area earmarked for housing development in an urban area has to be reserved for the economically weaker section or the low-income group.

The governments of Gujarat and Rajasthan have unveiled measures to ensure housing for the urban poor, the report says.