Affordable housing needs a holistic look

By Rajshri Mehta & Ranjona Banerji in DNA India

Is the housing situation in Mumbai going to get any easier for the middle class person who aspired to own a home? To find out, we invited the realty men over to discuss the situation.

The panel had Sitaram Kunte, principal secretary (housing) for the Maharashtra government; Parag Munot, director with Kalpataru Constructions; Gautam Chatterjee, CEO of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada); Vikas Oberoi, MD of Oberoi Constructions; Aditi Vijayakar, executive director (residential) at Cushman & Wakefield; Boman Irani, MD of the Rustomjee Group; Nabil Patel, director at DB Realty; Santosh Naik, CEO & MD of Disha Direct Pravin Doshi, chairman of Acme Housing and Brotin Banerjee, CEO of Tata Housing.

While rates are still high, our experts feel that prospective buyers should take advantage of the economic recession to buy now when rates are a bit lower than they were even last year. As far as affordable housing in general is concerned, it seems that a public-private partnership is the best available option.


Affordable Housing: Post-Election Policy

By Garima Pant in the Financial Express


The recently concluded general elections saw a common mandate in a number of party manifestos — the promise to provide affordable housing. However, when the core thrust of the realty segment for the last decade has been directed towards the higher income group, it still remains a dream for the economically weaker section (EWS) of society to hope for an abode.

Neelima Risbud, professor of Housing at the School of Planning and Architecture says, “Cities are growing and urbanisation is transforming these places at an extremely rapid pace. Multiple and sustained strategy to reach the lower income group is the need of the hour. Inclusive cities is the solution to this problem,” she says. And for that to happen, affordability and the cost of housing have to match. “There is a huge gap between the two,” she adds.

Affordability is a flexible concept that takes the shape of the market and its prevalent market dynamics under discussion. Sanjay Dutt, CEO (Business) Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj says that as a rule of thumb — the price of an affordable home equals five years’ cumulative salary of the buyer. “In other words, a family earning Rs 12 lakh a year can afford to buy a house worth Rs 60 lakh, factoring in generalised expenditure and saving patterns. Banks also see this as a safe lending norm. The minute the price crosses this benchmark, affordability is compromised and demand reduces. Again, affordability as a concept changes from city to city in accordance with prevailing salary scales for that city,” he adds.


Tata introduces ‘Nano’ housing for Rs 3.9 lakh-Rs 6.7 lakh

After its revolution on wheels, the Tatas are aiming at a Nano house, which will cost anywhere between Rs 3.9 lakh and Rs 6.7 lakh.

Tata Housing, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, has launched its low-cost housing initiative called the Shubh Griha project.

The first Shubh Griha township will be launched at Boisar in Mumbai. Tata Housing has tied up with SBI and HDFC to help potential buyers with finance options.

Announcing the launch of Shubh Grih’, Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of TATA Housing said, “This is in continuation of the group’s commitment to providing, quality, innovative products for the common man. We observed that since most of the people in the Low Income bracket live away from their families to earn a livelihood in the big cities, there is a large percentage of migrant population with people living in either rented or company provided accommodation".


Shelter Fund for Affordable Housing in Urban India

India needs a dedicated shelter fund to achieve its goal of providing affordable housing to all in urban areas, a task force has noted.

The report of the task force on providing ‘Affordable Housing for All’, led by HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh, has recommended a 0.5 per cent cess on all central Government taxes, to be credited to the dedicated shelter fund. The proposed fund will be managed by the National Housing Bank with an equivalent budgetary support so as to make a long-term impact in terms of affordable housing.

The report, which was submitted to the Housing Minister Kumari Shelja today, also recommended that ‘affordable housing’ be brought under the definition of infrastructure. Apart from the NHB, the report has suggested the formation of a housing finance company, focusing on housing micro-finance loans.


Home truths at housing conclave

The state government has called for all hands on deck to tackle the housing problem of the urban poor, predicting an annual shortfall of 100,000 houses in the city for the next few years.

Inaugurating the 36th World Congress on Housing Science at a city hotel on Monday, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said he hoped the five-day conclave could offer low-cost technology solutions for the housing sector to help plug the gap.

“Housing is a serious problem in the developing world. In India — where 30 per cent of the population is still below the poverty line — a forum like this must focus on the housing needs of the low and middle-income groups,” he said.

The congress, being held in India for the second time, was organised by the department of architecture and regional planning of IIT Kharagpur, in association with the International Association for Housing Science (IAHS), an NGO associated with the UN.

Cities Housing Real Estate

Mumbai: Affordable Housing 100 km. Away

In a recent article the Mid-Day talks about how affordable housing is now at least 100 km away from the city center. According to developers, these are the places where one can find affordable housing which is in the 1500-3000 Rs per sq.ft. bracket. From reading the article below, I wonder if this is another ploy by the developers to push their products now that they have bought the land and are ready to exploit it in these far flung suburbs.


There’s more bad news if you plan to buy that dream house in the city. Prominent builders in the city, who attended the FICCI real estate summit on Thursday, said the common man can now afford a house only more
than 100 km outside the city.

Most of the builders stressed that one has to consider options as far as Karjat and Kasara to buy a flat within one’s means. Mohan Deshmukh, former president of the Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry, said, “In the current scenario, if one has to find an affordable house, he has to go at least 100 km away from the city. There aren’t many affordable houses in the city.” The builders defined affordable housing as anything between Rs 1,500 per sq ft and Rs 3,000 per sq ft.

Environment and Climate Housing

Rabi Rashmi Abasan: India’s First Green Housing Project Completed

rabi rashmi abasan

Via Bengal DCL

Rabi Rashmi Abasan, India’s first solar housing complex, conceived by WBREDA and engineered and managed by Bengal DCL on a plot of 1.76 acres in New Town Kolkata. Destined to be a dazzling milestone in the development of housing complexes in India where every owner will not only have his land but also generate his own power for domestic use as well as for feeding the grid.

Solar PV (Photo Voltaic) technology has a widespread application and is used to convert solar rays into electricity. About 700 MW of generation capacity has been added in 2004 alone, bringing the world total to 2500 MW.The application of Building Integrated Photo Voltaic (BIPV) technology, used in Rabi Rashmi Abasan, has been growing a rate of more than 50% during last 10 years, Japan, Germany and USA having taken the lead.

In Rabi Rashmi Abasan, each home will generate 2kW of power from solar tiles on the roof for its own consumption and feeding the surplus into the grid. The owner will also get power from the grid as and when necessary. The utility will pay the house owner and vice-versa on net monthly metering. Benefits of Energy Banking will also be available to the house owners. Each house will have solar water heaters and solar signage; area lighting will be done by solar streetlights.

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