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 KotalRead More
The Union Cabinet on June 2nd 2021 approved the Model Tenancy Act, 2021 (“MTA”) for circulation to all the States and Union Territories. This piece examines whether the MTA delivers in letter what it intends to achieve in spirit, especially at a time when the importance of rental housing markets has been explicitly recognised as a key component of affordable housing policy, with the introduction of the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) scheme in May 2020. It finds that the MTA, while a good first step, has many shortcomings that will inhibit the achievement of its objectives.Read More
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.Read More
India’s urbanising middle class is at the brink of an unprecedented increase in residential cooling demand. New research by Centre for Policy Research and the University of Oxford answers a set of fundamental questions around India's cooling transition.
By IHR TeamRead More
As State Governments have started announcing weekend curfews and lockdown-like conditions amidst the second wave of COVID-19, rent crises are once again emerging within informal rental housing markets. In a crisis, rent does not get as much attention as food and income support, despite forming a substantial part of household budgets for informal workers. It is imperative that we learn lessons from last year's crisis and protect the rental housing of informal workers early, effectively, and expansively.Read More
Drawing on over a decade of research on the Kathputli Colony in Delhi, this two-part series focuses on the complex processes involved in the in-situ rehabilitation of squatter settlements. While the first part focused on the differentiated nature of the resettlement processes, this second piece focuses on the transit camp, examining the multidimensional impact on the residents who are endlessly awaiting their final rehabilitation.Read More
Drawing on over a decade of research on the Kathputli Colony in Delhi, this two-part series focuses on the complex processes involved in the in-situ rehabilitation of squatter settlements. This first part explains the differentiated nature of the resettlement processes. This involves exclusions caused by stringent eligibility requirements, opaque enumeration processes and delays in project implementation. Additionally, an unclear legal status has kept households in a continuing state of uncertainty.Read More
This is the second in a series of data tales that looks into the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) panel dataset (2005-06 and 2011-12) to portray certain trends on the nature and profile of house ownership, renting and purchase in urban India. This part looks into the variation in the ownership of new houses based on size of houses and size of the households, to get an idea about which segment of the housing market has become more preferable than others over time.Read More
A recent regularisation scheme promises to improve the tenure security of about 5 million Delhi residents. But how inclusive is the scheme and does it keep pace with the realities on the ground? Sukrit Nagpal, Smriti Singh and Sonal Sharma from SEWA Bharat take a critical look.Read More