Urban Policy & City Planning is an online one-month online immersive certificate training course organized by Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies at Impact and Policy Research Institute, IMPRI, New Delhi in the month of July 2023. An informative and panel discussion on the topic “An Overview of Housing Policies & Housing Finance in India” was held on July 12, 2023, by Dr Akshaya K Sen, Joint General Manager (Economics), Housing & Urban Development Corporation Ltd. (HUDCO).
Dr. Akshaya K Sen initiated his presentation by emphasizing the magnitude of the housing demand arising from the continuously growing population, highlighting the necessity for well-crafted housing policies to address this issue. He then outlined the sequence of Indian housing policies over time.
Housing Policies in India
He proceeded to offer an in-depth understanding of the National Housing Policy of 1994, including its objectives and goals. This was followed by a comprehensive overview of the National Housing and Habitat Policy of 1998, including its overarching aim and primary focus areas. The policy played a pivotal role in transitioning the government’s role from being a provider to functioning as a facilitator via legal and regulatory reforms.
With the evolution in the housing sector, the need for a sector specific policy became evident. Thus, the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy of 2007 was introduced. Its foundational principle is “affordable housing for all,” with a specific emphasis on marginalized sections of society, including SC, ST, and other minority groups. This policy further deepened the government’s role as a facilitator and regulator in the realm of housing.
He proceeded to talk about Government initiatives for catalyzing the affordable housing market.
He delved into how various task forces, such as the Deepak Parekh Committee in 2008 and the MoHUPA Task Force, differed in their definitions of “affordable” housing. He then highlighted different government programs, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, Rajiv Awas Yojna, Affordable Housing in Partnership scheme, and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna. Moreover, he discussed two models of the Affordable Rental Housing Complex scheme.
National Urban Policy framework – 2018 and 2021
The policy has adopted “MORE” (Maximize, Optimize, Equalize, Reposition) approach across 4 fundamental pillars to ensure that state and city governments promote initiatives to address urban challenges. The Draft National Urban Rental Housing Policy of 2018 was formulated with the objective of establishing a vibrant, sustainable, and an inclusive rental housing market in India. The policy presents three distinct categories of rental housing options: Social rental housing, Need-based rental housing, and Market-driven rental housing. Housing finance in India has undergone a transformation spanning from the 1950s to the present day, particularly since 2010. Housing finance has become institutionalized over time.
Within the subsection titled “Impact of Housing Policies and Programmes,” he thoroughly examined the positive responses and limitations observed. He also deliberated on the principal challenges faced within the housing sector. Concluding his presentation, he underscored the primary concerns linked with housing policies and posed an important question as to whether these reforms would yield the expected outcomes.
In his closing comments, Dr. Rumi Aijaz expressed his viewpoint, highlighting that despite substantial efforts made on paper regarding policies, their effective implementation on the ground remains insufficient. He emphasized the necessity for enhancing economic conditions and creating employment opportunities to enable people to afford housing.
This segued into an engaging Q&A session where the audience interacted with the speakers, posing insightful questions. The event concluded with Dr. Rumi Aijaz delivering a vote of thanks.
Kashish Narang is a Research Intern at IMPRI.
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