By IHR Team on May 28th 2022
This post features highlights from the 145th talk in the series of CPR-CSH Urban Workshops, where Paroj Banerjee, Ratoola Kundu, and Maggie Paul talk about their ongoing research in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi on the struggles of the houseless communities during 2020 to 2021. The discussion and the study raises important policy and governance questions about houseless communities in the city, arguing that the predominant shelter-centric policy discourse fails to capture the agency, the lived realities, and fundamental contributions and specific vulnerabilities of those who have made a home in the city, but do not have a ‘house’ to live in.
The making of the city of Delhi is characterised by perennial eviction at the legal and spatial peripheries of its urban landscape. Disturbingly, this character of regular eviction was not disturbed even during the time of the COVID–19 pandemic, when the world was facing a state of exception.
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.
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.
By Varun Fatehpuria on March 16th 2021
Providing housing that is safe, affordable, and accessible creates vibrant communities around it and a more secure and just world for all. It also contributes to building resilient cities strong enough to withstand adverse environmental conditions and disasters. The COVID-19 induced pandemic has further put a premium on the importance of putting a roof above one’s head.
However, despite the potential and size of the Indian affordable housing market, not many developers have been able to successfully make a sustainable business case out of it. This article analyses the challenges and opportunities for smaller and local developers to expand their footprint in this market, and outlines a framework for its execution.
By Shivani Chaudhry on January 18th 2021
This study aims to document the living conditions of migrant workers, particularly their access to housing and land in Delhi—where they lived—and in their villages as well as the challenges faced by them during the COVID-19 crisis. While the lockdown has been lifted in India, in phases from 1 June 2020, lessons learned from this period can be used to frame land and housing policies and to develop low-cost social housing models, not only for migrant workers, but also for all those living in homelessness and inadequate housing in urban and rural areas.
By examining access to a bundle of basic amenities – electricity, piped water and in-house latrines – by homeowners in slum (and non-slum) households and documenting how this varies across states and cities in India, the authors of this data-centric piece offer insights into how the quality of housing structures need to urgently be seen alongside access and quality of basic amenities to ensure improved quality of life in Indian cities. In a post-CoVID moment, these data points urge us to reflect on how inflexible land regulations and services delivery mechanisms have historically disadvantaged slum households in terms of public provision of, as well as private investment in, basic amenities.
By Manish on September 9th 2020
The Supreme Court of India on 31.08.2020 passed an order, in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) relating to pollution and waste management in Delhi, directing the eviction of “encroachments” – primarily jhuggi-jhopri (JJ) bastis, or slums – on Railway land in the capital. Coming in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the order has been subject to legal criticism and has received wide coverage in the media. In this series of Q&A, we deconstruct what exactly the order says, the extent of the displacement it is likely to cause, the legally prescribed procedure for eviction and relocation, and what would be a fair approach going forward.
By Ashwin Parulkar on July 27th 2020
Through an analysis of shelter and homelessness data from the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board and the Census, this study examines extent of overcrowding in Delhi’s homeless shelters and its implications on the ability of residents in these spaces to socially distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It examines the nature and implications of limited floor space across Delhi’s homeless shelter system to ascertain the extent to which the system’s capacity and coverage problems are rooted in shelter planning and design.