States urged to evolve policies for affordable housing

The Centre would hold discussions with the state governments about measures being taken to promote affordable housing projects for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Low Income Groups (LIG).

According to an official release here, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) has asked the states to evolve affordable housing policies to comprehensively address issues affecting the creation of affordable housing stock by laying out an enabling environment for various stakeholders to participate in housing projects for EWS and LIG.

Action taken in this regard and experiences of 10 states in promoting affordable housing stock will be discussed at a national workshop – ‘Model State Urban Housing and Habitat Policy: Decisive Roadmap for Achieving Housing for All’ – on October 27 in New Delhi.

While the Telangana government has proposed to promote the Singapore model of rental housing, neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has proposed several initiatives to promote affordable housing for EWS and LIG segments.

The governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which, at the workshop, will give an account of the initiatives being taken by them, have both proposed total waiver of stamp duty for affordable housing projects, the statement said.

In the Draft Affordable Housing Policy of Andhra Pradesh, presented to the Ministry of HUPA, the state government has also proposed waiver of land conversion fee, infrastructure development charges, building plan approval fee, registration fee and betterment charges to promote affordable housing for EWS and LIG besides relaxation in Floor Area Ratio (FAR).

Telangana government has also proposed similar measures. To encourage private investment in affordable housing, it has proposed twice the normal FAR besides 0.50 per cent additional FAR for timely completion of such projects, the statement said, adding that both states have proposed earmarking of 25 per cent of government land available with urban local bodies for housing for EWS and LIG segments.

The two states also envisaged single-window clearance for approving housing projects in 60 days, the statement added.

In its policy, Telangana has also proposed construction by state agencies of houses/flats on rental-cum-ownership basis on the lines of Singapore model by adopting new initiatives like ‘equity building‘ and ‘rent cum ownership’ basis, especially for low income segments.

Under this model, a house/flat allotted to an EWS/LIG household will be transferred in the name of the individual after ensuring 100 per cent equity over a period of 10-15 years.

Such individuals will have the option to sell house/flat but only to the state government agency, which will then offer the same to EWS/LIG households in waiting list.

Private sector also will be encouraged to build rental housing stock with appropriate government support for the benefit of migrants.

Such initiatives and experiences of other states, the statement said, will be discussed for the benefit of all other states and stakeholders, besides the expectations of industry from affordable housing policies of states.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme launched in June this year, about 2 crore houses are to be built in urban areas by 2022 in a bid to realise the goal of “Housing for All”.

Of this, 96 per cent is meant for EWS and LIG households. The Centre has proposed to extend assistance in the range of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.30 lakh per each dwelling unit to be built under PMAY.

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