By Karen Coelho on December 6th 2021
In October 2021, the Tamilnadu government released its first-ever draft “Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy” for public comment. While long-awaited, the policy is also premature. It is not anchored in a comprehensive housing and habitat policy that defines a framework for affordable housing, slum clearance, and land use in which the relocation of slum dwellers to remote peripheries is specified as a last-ditch option. Instead of leveraging Chennai and Tamilnadu’s rich history of implementing innovative and inclusionary models of slum rehabilitation and affordable housing, the policy implicitly clings to the tired and discredited model of mass peripheral resettlement and threatens to perpetuate it further.
Drawing on a mixed-method comparative study of experiences of families moving to five peripheral settlements in Ahmedabad, Chennai and Johannesburg, the paper indicates two linked challenges to the social and economic mobility of the peripheralised urban poor: first, their immediate and individual ability to be mobile within the city and second, the longer-term social mobility of their households.
Affordable housing in Chennai means a unit costing between ₹ 8 and 20 lakh (₹8-10.2 lakh for EWS and ₹16-20 lakh for LIG households), based on the Deepak Parekh Committee’s definition of affordability. In practice, however, state agencies as well as private builders define affordable housing by size, referring to units of 300 to 600 square feet. This approach has contributed to making most “affordable” housing produced in the city unaffordable to EWS and LIG households.
This note outlines the dynamics and determinants of affordable housing in the Chennai Metropolitan Area, drawing on data from a five-year period (2013-2018). It estimates Chennai’s housing shortage and affordability line, outlines the role of state and private players in supplying affordable housing, and discusses builders’ responses to state incentives aimed at increasing their supply of such housing. It ends with some comments on the post-pandemic market for affordable housing.
By Karen Coelho on December 1st 2012
What kinds of subjects-in-the-making are the urban poor? The authors in this issue of the Review of Urban Affairs offer neither conclusive arguments nor radically new paradigms. They, however, nudge us to rethink poverty, not as an objective condition that can be addressed through policymaking at a distance or by targeted development schemes, but as […]