Minister for Housing K.M. Mani has mooted a public- private- panchayat model for addressing the housing needs of the State.

Addressing a workshop on the government draft housing policy with builders, developers, and other stakeholders here on Monday, Mr.Mani said many civic bodies had tracts of unutilised land. After reserving space for public purposes, the remaining land could be used for housing purposes involving private developers in a transparent manner.

The Housing Department too intends to experiment the PPP model in constructing residential and commercial buildings in association with the private developers. The State at present needs 12 lakh houses, of which 7.2 lakh units are for the economically weaker sections.

The government will bear the responsibility to provide houses for such sections and form a shelter fund for the purpose, mainly through public donations. But the housing needs of other sections can be met by utilising the 10 acres owned by the Kerala State Housing Board in different parts of the State as well as the land owned by the civic bodies.

The government will value the land owned by the board, which will be its capital participation in the public-private partnership projects. The process of allotment and other details will be worked out in a transparent manner, he said. The government has decided to form a Kerala State Housing Finance Development Corporation.

The Kerala State Housing Board will be restructured. Institutional, legal, and regulatory reforms have been planned to create a milieu conducive for completing the housing projects in a time-bound manner.

Ideology should not be an impediment in such experiments. Due importance will be given for creating adequate infrastructure too.

The government policy is to construct eco-friendly and cost-effective houses to meet the challenges of climate change. The final policy will be worked out only after eliciting the views of stakeholders, he said.

Board chairman Arakkal Balakrishna Pillai welcomed. Housing Department Secretary A.Ajithkumar presented the policy and housing commissioner S.Sreeni proposed a vote of thanks.