Special accent will be on affordable houses for economically weaker sections

The Union Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) has decided to allow States to have a tailor-made housing policy as different rules in different States make it difficult to have a unified guideline.

The Ministry has decided to appoint consultants in consultation with the State governments to draft policies for housing with special accent on affordable houses for the economically weaker sections and how schemes for the beneficiaries can be fast-tracked through a single window clearance mechanism.

Earlier this year, after the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 was approved by the Cabinet, the Ministry had announced that it will push for a single window clearance system for seeking approvals for projects and bring down the average approval time from 196 days to 45-60 days.

“We have decided to appoint consultants and experts to help States draft housing policies with emphasis on affordable housing. These experts will study the existing rules regarding the building sanctions, laws for land use etc., and formulate a model bill that will make it possible to have a single window clearance system,” said A.K. Misra, Secretary, HUPA.

The consultants will also help create software which can be used by these States to digitise the process of seeking approvals. “To begin with the exercise will be rolled out in 12-14 big States; the bulk of the funds will be generated by the Central Government while the State governments will contribute a smaller share. We are also exploring the possibility of seeking funds through the Department for International Development,” said Mr. Misra.