Need to utilise va­cant prop­er­ties ef­fec­tively

The draft Na­tional Ur­ban Rental Hous­ing Pol­icy sug­gests that In­dia’s hous­ing short­age could be re­solved if the 11.09 mil­lion va­cant houses in ur­ban ar­eas are made avail­able for rent

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Util­i­sa­tion of va­cant prop­er­ties re­mains a crit­i­cal is­sue and the draft Na­tional Ur­ban Rental Hous­ing Pol­icy ac­knowl­edges that 11.09 mil­lion houses are va­cant in ur­ban ar­eas as per Cen­sus 2011. It sug­gests that if th­ese are made avail­able for rent then the hous­ing short­age could be ad­dressed. How­ever, one should keep in mind that the va­cant houses be­long to MIG and HIG cat­e­gories com­pris­ing ba­si­cally of those who have in­vested in real es­tate to earn prof­its.

On t he other hand, t he tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee re­port on hous­ing short­age clearly states that over 95% of the hous­ing short­age is in the EWS and LIG cat­e­gory and 80% of the short­age has re­sulted from con­ges­tion ( mar­riages, chil­dren adding more mem­bers to a fam­ily in the same house). There­fore, it is a chal­lenge for the gov­ern­ment to house in the va­cant prop­er­ties a sec­tion of the pop­u­la­tion that does not have the money to pur­chase or to rent property. Also, given that 80% of the hous­ing short­age is the re­sult of con­ges­tion, it is sug­gested that in­cre­men­tal hous­ing in the same lo­cal­ity would ad­dress the prob­lem in­stead of build­ing new houses in an­other dis­tant lo­ca­tion, adds Kundu.

Ac­cord­ing to An­shu­man Mag­a­zine, CMD, CBRE South Asia Pvt Ltd, the pol­icy will en­able land­lords to en­ter the rental hous­ing mar­ket, thereby re­leas­ing a large stock of un­oc­cu­pied hous­ing across the coun­try. While the gov­ern­ment is work­ing to­wards de­vel­op­ing af­ford­able hous­ing and im­prov­ing the present con­di­tion of hous­ing in the coun­try, a com­pre­hen­sive and bal­anced rental hous­ing pol­icy will help sup­port the over­all ob­jec­tive of ad­dress­ing hous­ing short­age in the coun­try.

T he Oc­to­ber 2 0 1 5 draft in­cludes steps in the right di­rec­tion, es­sen­tially to i nvolve all key stake­hold- ers while de­vel­op­ing rental hous­ing across the coun­try. Par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant is the in­volve­ment of the pri­vate sec­tor, and other non-gov­ern­ment bod­ies/or­gan­i­sa­tions, as they can com­ple­ment gov­ern­ment ef­forts.

As a size­able chunk of hous­ing in In­dia is pri­vately held or held by co­op­er­a­tives or other bod­ies, it be­comes im­per­a­tive to bring them on this plat­form. The pri­vate sec­tor can also pro­vide the de­vel­op­ment re­sources, while the gov­ern­ment can pitch in with land and pol­icy sup­port for de­vel­op­ing large rental hous­ing schemes across the coun­try. “A reg­u­la­tor to track rents and track prices will es­sen­tially help ad­dress the gap be­tween the expectations of land­lords and ten­ants expectations and es­tab­lish a more trans­par­ent op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dure in the rental hous­ing mar­ket,” Mag­a­zine adds.

– Van­dana Ram­nani

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