The estimate of housing shortage in urban areas has been revised downwards to about 10 million units from 2011 projection of 18.76 million, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Suri today said and promised to provide homes to all by 2022 through its various schemes.
The government will use its own surplus land to build affordable homes and address this shortage, he said, and asked the real estate firms to focus on affordable housing projects.
Puri said a technical study conducted by the government in 2011 estimated housing shortage at 18.76 million units in urban areas, of which 96 per cent pertained EWS and LIG. “Subsequent assessments that were carried out since 2011 ownwards have resulted in this figure being revised to something around or near about 10 million units. Even 10 million is a very large number,” he said at RICS real estate conference here.
Puri said the government proposes to address this housing shortage through its flagship programme ‘PMAY’ (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) Urban and Housing For All. “The thrust of this mission is to make available housing for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Lower Income Groups (LIG) and the MIG (Middle Income Group) by harnessing government land,” he added.
The minister said that various PPP Models have been released to encourage housing through private partnership. Under this scheme, he said the government would make available the land as well as provide subsidy to allottees and assist them in getting concessional funding from banks. “The house will be registered in the name of the lady singly or co-jointly along with the male member. This will help our overall objective of gender empowerment. Even the smallest unit will have a kitchen and a toilet,” he said.
The scheme is designed to ensure that by 2022 every Indian owns a residential unit, the minister said.
For the realty sector, Puri said the government has enacted the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), which will have a long term transformative effect.
The government has put in place an eco-system to ensure that real estate sector is properly governed and buyers are empowered, he said, adding that when the history of Indian real estate will be written in two segments -- pre and post RERA.
The pre-RERA phase was characterised by the dreams to own a house of many being dashed for a considerable period of time by a few persons exploiting that dream, he said. “We are not out of that phase yet and we have a huge pipeline which we have to deal with...We are still witnessing the final phase of a cleaning up process involving the misdemeanours of a few who tarnished the image of the many developers who were genuine in their dealings,” Puri said.
Referring to the RERA, he said the new Act is a response to the dire need of Indian consumers and in discharge of the sovereign functions towards public interest.
Along with RERA, the minister said GST, infrastructure status to affordable housing and insolvency law have created an enabling environment to resolve the problems faced by this sector and propel growth. He expressed concern over some of the states tweaking the law for the ongoing projects.
Highlighting the importance of the housing sector, the minister said that it plays a catalytic role in fulfilling the demand for housing and is the second largest sector after agriculture providing employment to 6.86 per cent of the workforce in the country.