Efforts of Affordable Housing Supply Models: Futile or Worthwhile?

This article highlights the significance of different factors influencing the end user satisfaction in the success of different housing supply models and concludes with recommendations on measures necessary to sustain the outreach to intended beneficiaries, in the face of large scale urbanization and housing delivery under “Housing for All” mission, announced by the Government of India in 2015.

Grand schemes with extravagant promises are neither new nor unusual in the Indian housing sector. Despite constant efforts by public and private sectors, the conundrum of affordable housing for poor continues to plague urban India, because first the efforts in the country to resolve the housing shortage for the poor are immensely inadequate in comparison to the demand. Secondly, the efforts to sustain the outreach to the intended beneficiaries over a long period are even fewer. For example, lower occupancy ratio, high share of units rented by ineligible users against policy guidelines and speculative investments by higher income sections in private affordable housing schemes are creating artificial shortage of housing supply for poor and are altering the intended outcome of various supply mechanism models. The paper forwards the argument that efficacy in sustaining the outreach is a key for ensuring affordable housing for all, rather than re-formulation of programs or models every other year. This piece inquires the causes for failure in sustaining the outreach to intended beneficiaries under a variety of affordable housing supply models for urban poor. Furthermore, the article also addresses the successful interventions and supply side potentials to significantly overcome the challenges. End user satisfaction is vital in retaining the success of any housing model.

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