Affordable housing in India

Here is an interesting article which traces the ‘choices’ for ‘urban poor’ homes in India – Homes no bigger than a bus.
The article takes one through the present real estate market and where does housing for urban poor finds a place in the same. Some of the excerpts from the article are:
“Yeh kamra toh shuru hone se pehle hi khatam ho gaya, bhai!” This piece of wit from the sidekick ‘Circuit’, of Bollywood blockbuster ‘Munnabhai MBBS’ fame, is being played out in the affordable housing sector today, where real estate developers are offering homes that measure a mere 250 square feet. “Which is, as big as a bus!”
“According to our estimates, the sizes of affordable houses in Gujarat have shrunk by at least 40 per cent in the last decade,” says Nirav Kothary, head of industrial real-estate division at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a global property consultant.
While experts believe that smaller housing units are an apt answer for India’s housing problems, a research study conducted by the Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business (ISB) in 2011, points out that families feel “uncomfortable” to live in houses that are smaller than 700 square feet.
Increasing land prices have also pushed affordable housing projects away from city centres. Mumbai and NCR have affordable housing projects located 65-75 km away from the city centre. On the other hand, Ahmedabad and Kolkata provide better proximity, with projects located at a distance of 15-20 kms. Bangalore, Pune and Chennai also have projects after a distance of 25-30 km from the city centre, states the JLL report.
The shortage of land has been exacerbated artificially by poorly conceived central, state and municipal regulations. As a result, land prices in India are much higher than intrinsic levels that can support mass real-estate developments.

The article also highlights how to make the housing project more affordable for the buyer; developers are adopting the following measures:
o Limited options: Units offered are mostly one room-kitchen and one-bedroom-hall-kitchen formats
o Reduced areas: Units have reduced saleable areas of 250-350 square feet for one-room-kitchen and 400-500 square feet for one-bedroom-hall-kitchen.
o Low construction cost: Structure is typically low-rise with ground+3 or ground+4 floors, without lift.
o Shorter period of construction: The low-rise structure and adoption of technologies such as aluminium formwork and building information modelling enables developers to complete the project within a short period of 18-24 months, thus decreasing the collection time and improve returns.
Read the entire article at :


One thought on “Affordable housing in India

  1. nippo August 21, 2012 at 5:16 am Reply

    JNNURM established the minimum size for a dwelling to be 25 sq m. But what is more important and determines the quality of life in a dwelling unit is the per person area. Many slums have 6-10 people staying in a house, thus providing them with a 25 Sq m house means that one person gets maximum of 4 sq m, which is worse than providing a 15 sq m room for single occupancy. This doesn’t mean that we should have bigger houses, what shall be the target is to create a mix of different options including rental.

    Mushrooming of affordable housing outside the city is a crucial planning issue. There are well established planning tools by which land can be made available inside the city itself, we need to explore them separately for each city.

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