Informality


Landlord-tenant dynamism in Kapashera urban village, Delhi

By and on July 6th 2021

While the power of asset-owning landlords in rural India is well-understood, less attention has been paid to the same in urban areas. Examining Kapashera, a low-middle income settlement in Delhi, this article outlines the housing typologies and dynamism in landlord-tenant relations that relegated working class migrants to exploitative housing experiences.

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Why the Haryana Govt Must Not Evict One Lakh Residents of Khori Gaon

By and on June 29th 2021

On June 7, Supreme Court reiterated its order of February and April 2020 to evict the Khori Gaon basti on the Delhi-Haryana border, falling within the Faridabad Municipal Corporation (FMC) jurisdiction. The Court concluded that this basti is an encroachment on the Aravalli forest land and so deemed it fit to order the municipal corporation to undertake evictions using force if needed. The residents have been given a few days to collect their belongings and leave before the demolition squad comes to vacate these lands. The demolitions of over 6,500 homes are scheduled to take place just when the monsoon arrives and we are still in a pandemic where most of the population is not vaccinated. This is great injustice to bring upon anyone during a pandemic. The urgency shown in demolishing the houses of the poor is therefore unjustified.

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Land vs. housing: how effective are tenurial measures to house the urban poor?

By 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.

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Roti, Kapda, but what about Makaan?

By and on May 18th 2021

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.

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Emerging partnerships in low-income housing finance: Q&A with Manikandan K.P.

By on December 28th 2020

As the housing finance ecosystem adapts to service low-income housing, targeted interventions that build trust and connect disparate actors in the housing supply chain can bring transformative change. In this Q&A, Institution Builder and India Housing Federation co-founder Manikandan K. P. points out the opportunities and insights that led to a successful housing finance intervention for households availing the beneficiary-led construction (BLC) component of India’s flagship public housing scheme, the PMAY.

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Home ‘ownership’ is not enough: Documenting spatial variations in how slum households in India access basic amenities

By and on October 8th 2020

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.

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Regularisation as electoral strategy: Insights from Uttam Nagar

By on June 19th 2020

Regularising Delhi’s 1639 unauthorised colonies has been a regular issue in Delhi’s assembly elections for many years now. Based on field research carried out in the Uttam Nagar area of west Delhi during the months of January and February 2020, this piece helps to understand what the promise and process of regularisation has involved, and how it has played out for the residents before the Delhi elections of 2020?

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Housing in India

By on April 28th 2020

The 2011 Census of India reveals that the urban population of the country stood at 377 million or 31.16 percent of the total population. This is estimated to have increased to 437 million by 2021, which is about 36 percent of the total population.

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Social Relations, Rental Housing Markets & the Urban Poor in India

By on April 28th 2020

Cities in poorer countries are home to a heterogeneous mix of tenures: owners, landlords, tenants and sharers jostle for residential accommodation in pursuit of urban livelihoods and social well-being.

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Job loss, rent and exodus — Covid-19 crisis tells us migrants need housing security

By on April 27th 2020

Practising social distancing and staying home to fight the coronavirus is not possible for migrant workers without housing security.

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