CHENNAI: Availability of land and building materials will be one of the biggest challenges for the state government in realizing the 2022 deadline set by the Centre to provide 8.3 lakh dwelling units to the houseless in the state.

In order to stick to the deadline the state government has asked District Collectors to ensure that top priority is given to identification of lands in the urban local bodies for implementing the affordable housing project under Housing for All.

Tamil Nadu has carried a demand assessment of 8.30 lakh households in urban areas in the state under the PMAY’s four components – Insitu rehabilitation, Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme, Beneficiary led Construction (BLC) and Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP).

Officials said the state has received a total of 14 lakh applications under the four components including the 8.3 lakh houseless identified under the demand survey being carried out in 666 urban local bodies (12 corporations, 124 municipalities, 528 town panchayats and two cantonments).

The importance of the matter is highlighted at the Collectors’ conference which began this week after the Slum Clearance Board submitted an Action Taken Report (ATR) before the Prime Minister for review of the project last month.

It is learnt from official sources that under the AHP, a total of 44,770 dwelling units were approved against the assessed demand of 2.66 lakh due to scarcity of land. “The scarcity of land is a major setback to the preparation of detailed project reports under this component,” sources added.

Under the Affordable Housing in Partnership scheme, the Union government will provide a grant of `1.6 lakh for slum-dwellers while the state will provide `5 lakh.

Sources said that Slum Clearance Board is planning to attract private developers to develop houses for slum-dwellers by marketing special transferrable development rights to private builders.
Interestingly, the District Collectors have been asked to review the sanctioned units under this vertical with the engineers of the Slum Clearance Board.

Sources indicated that the Collectors have also been asked to accord top priority to identifying the lands in urban local bodies in their districts, according to official sources. Meanwhile, the state government has asked the Collectors to supply low-cost Amma cement to beneficiaries under the Beneficiary led Construction component wherein the state has identified 3.88 lakh homes for the houseless.

This comes after the state-level nodal agency has also highlighted issues in procuring and mobilising building materials. Under the Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC), those living in kutcha or semi-pucca houses in urban areas with land tenure will be provided `2.10 lakh grant (Union government `1.5 lakh and state government `60,000) to construct houses on their own. The balance cost is to be borne by the beneficiaries.