By Malay Kotal on June 16th 2021
Access to land in Indian cities is a major challenge for the urban poor due to the complexity of land tenure, scarcity of land, speculative land prices, and lack of political will. As a result, a majority of them are forced to live in informal settlements without having secure tenure, facing continuous threats of eviction and demolition, which puts them in an unending vicious cycle of poverty. Creation of new housing stock under different housing schemes has been the dominant strategy to address the housing shortage, but remains ineffectual on account of being a time consuming and capital intensive process. The other way to address the problem was to regularize and upgrade the existing housing stock occupied by poor groups. Over the years, state governments have introduced various tenurial measures to address this conundrum of housing and land. This article attempts a nuanced understanding of the effectiveness of these tenurial measures in augmenting and improving the urban poor housing scenario.
By Malay Kotal on April 6th 2021
While central and state governments have launched several housing policies over the years to promote ownership-based housing for the ‘urban poor’, the housing requirements of migrant workers remain neglected. The sudden announcement of a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020 led to an exodus of migrants from cities due to their inability to pay rents for rooms after losing their jobs. It is thus crucial to understand what housing means to migrants in cities, and how cities can be made more livable for migrant workers. This piece attempts to answer some of these questions through interviews of several migrant workers in the national capital region to understand their experiences and perspectives.