Homes and gardens

It’s all about affordable housing

With demand-supply gap widening, vibes are favourable for big players. By M.A. Siraj

The affordable housing sector has begun to receive traction from the real estate industry in major cities owing to the new push from a slew of schemes and budgetary allocations from the Union government. Several leading players in development and construction have focused their attention on providing affordable housing.

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) envisaged in 2015 is seen as a proactive intervention on the supply side. It has led to 0.57 million units being added in this sector since 2016 in top eight cities, viz., Mumbai, NCR, Bengalure, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. But analysis of demand versus supply covered under a RICS-Knight Frank study recently finds that on an average, nearly 0.6 million homes are required every year in these cities against a supply of 0.2 million units annually.

With 70% of jobs being created in the urban areas, it is expected that 40% of India’s population will come to live in urban areas by 2030. Revised estimates of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development reveal that urban India faced a deficit of 100 million housing units in 2017. Ninety five per cent of this shortage is in the affordable housing segment. Majority of these people are new migrants to the cities and need affordable houses. Presently, 80% of these households are living in congested or dilapidated dwellings and are in need of new houses. It is observed that 50% of people in India live in their own houses, while almost 30% people live in rented houses.

Nearly one million households are living in non-serviceable katcha (mud and brick structures) houses, while over half-a-million are living in homeless conditions. It was in this backdrop that the PMAY envisaged the objective of providing every family a pucca house with water connection, toilet facilities, and 24 x 7 power supply. It subsumed all the previous urban housing schemes and fixed the target of constructing 20 million under ‘Housing for all’ by 2022.

Flats most popular

The Knight Frank survey across 15 tier-I and tier-II cities reveals that apartment/flat is the most popular type of residence followed by ‘independent house’ concept. 65% lived in apartments; 26% in builder-floor (a house in each floor); independent house 4%; gated villas 3%; and, 2% in row-houses. Of the respondents, 79% were males and 21% female, 27% were salaried professionals, 12% self-employed professional, 16% salaried non-professional, 16% were engaged in business, 14% were in retail business and 8% were salaried blue-collar workers.

Price tops the list

Price and cost was identified as the most important factor in making a decision for purchase (80%) by buyers. Safety and security was identified by 73% of the respondents as the prime need while choosing a house. 71% said they looked at the quality of construction, 65% opted for timely delivery of homes while 64% were looking for reliability of the developer and return on investment.

For 56% quality of electrical and sanitary fittings was a key concern while 49% wanted assurance for post-purchase maintenance of property.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 9:57:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/its-all-about-affordable-housing/article29110972.ece

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