This article attempts to capture the story of an informally employed low-income household who, with the help of informal financial agents, successfully navigated the informal-formal space of housing finance to buy the house of their choice. The article starts with contextualising the accessibility and affordability constraints for housing finance faced by low-income households. Following this, we discuss a case study of an informally employed home loan borrower, explaining the negotiations playing at the cusp of the informal-formal. Lastly, we deliberate upon the roles of lending institutions, specifically during the COVID-19 crisis and the financial recovery of the home loan industry.
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.
By IHR Team on September 30th 2021
This is the second post in a series on the India Housing Report focusing on digital technology and tech entrepreneurship in housing, where we try and examine what motivates entrepreneurs in this area, the challenges and potential of using digital solutions, and whether India is ready for such innovative products in the informal housing market. In this piece, we interview Ganesh Shankar, Co-Founder of Homehub, about their product and services.
By IHR Team on September 22nd 2021
Digital technology and tech entrepreneurship in housing is rapidly evolving in the Indian context, especially around the affordable housing segment. This is the first post in a series on the India Housing Report focusing on this space, where we try and examine what motivates entrepreneurs in this area, the challenges and potential of using digital solutions, and whether India is ready for such innovative products in the informal housing market.
By Saurabh Bhatia on September 7th 2021
As a response to the COVID-19 migrant crisis and in furtherance of the Government of India’s ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ mission, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) programme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme to improve the living conditions of urban poor/migrant workers. Although the initiative is a novel step, it operational aspects demand more than what is being offered for enabling private/public agencies to leverage the opportunity and turn it into a grand scale programmatic intervention.
By Tanu Kumar on August 31st 2021
Governments have come up with several schemes to address the housing deficit for low-income households, including the construction and sale of public housing at subsidised prices, which are then allocated to applicants by lottery. This piece presents the findings of a recent study of 834 total winners and non-winners of such lotteries run by the Maharashtra Housing And Development Authority in Mumbai. The study finds large differences between winners and non-winners three to five years after the lotteries were held. It finds that the provision of this housing, as an asset, changed the lives of beneficiaries positively, and identifies the lack of involuntary displacement as a key component to this change.
By IHR Team on August 24th 2021
The role of access to information in empowering the poor is well-acknowledged in India and reinforced by the experience of the Right to Information Act, 2005. However, information asymmetries continue to hamper the ability of the poor to make informed decisions about their future. A new online resource seeks to address this gap in the context of housing. The IHR team speaks to the founders about their motivations, challenges and aspirations for this platform.
By Mukta Naik on August 17th 2021
The affordable housing rental complex (AHRC) scheme acknowledges the needs of mobile workers who spend short periods of time in the city and do not seek permanent housing. Applying what we know about migrant work and the development sector will help India to realise AHRC’s potential.
By IHR Team on August 10th 2021
A report on IHR’s first webinar on Friday, 30th July on housing finance access to those with unclear titles. With experience across rural and urban contexts, the panel discussion revealed the complexities of the issue and highlighted potential directions for intervention.
By IHR Team on July 22nd 2021
The poor in India’s cities have endured evictions and demolitions of their homes and settlements for decades now. While long legal and political battles have sometimes resulted in a modicum of justice through rehabilitation of affected households, demolitions themselves are irreversible acts that forever destroy a settlement and transform the area. initiatives like the Missing Basti Project (MBP) seek to document these erasures by utilising the power of the Internet to create an archive of material memory.