In July 2020, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, announced the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) scheme, as a sub-scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana—Urban (PMAY-U). ARHC aims to address the housing needs of the urban poor and migrants through rental housing, brought to national attention by the reverse migration triggered by the COVID pandemic-induced lock-down. The ARHC scheme is co-terminus with the PMAY-U mission period, that is, March 2022. With a few months left to call for bids and award projects, this piece assesses the state of play in the scheme’s implementation—its emerging modalities, stakeholder engagement and current status—given its importance as India’s first national rental housing scheme.
The Government of India announced the Affordable Rental Housing Complex (ARHC) scheme in 2020 to provide formal, affordable, and well-located housing to urban poor and migrant workers’ communities. This study documents the results of a survey conducted by the Working People’s Charter covering aspects of ARHC supply streams, communities’ capacities and needs, and the scheme’s governance.
In this paper, the authors lay down what they understand as “affordable housing”— a term that can mean many things to many people— and present a set of empirics to locate their understanding of affordability. Following that, they sets out ten dynamics that are often seen to be at the root of why extreme housing inequalities persist in Indian cities. For each, they outline existing debates, suggest policy responses and interventions
and, at times, mark the medium- and long-term structural changes required. Finally, they summarize by a necessary partial translation into action and locate their suggested interventions with particular institutions and different scales of government.