Migrants


Owners, Renters and Buyers: What happened over time? (Part-1)

By on April 9th 2021

This is the first 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. While the previous series provided a comprehensive picture of housing supply in urban India, this one will focus more on the demand side parameters; such as profiles of buyers and renters in the housing market of these cities.

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‘I Don’t Have the Option to Rent a House’: How Migrant Workers Differ From the Urban Poor

By on April 6th 2021

While central and state governments have launched several housing policies over the years to promote ownership-based housing for the ‘urban poor’, the housing requirements of migrant workers remain neglected. The sudden announcement of a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020 led to an exodus of migrants from cities due to their inability to pay rents for rooms after losing their jobs. It is thus crucial to understand what housing means to migrants in cities, and how cities can be made more livable for migrant workers. This piece attempts to answer some of these questions through interviews of several migrant workers in the national capital region to understand their experiences and perspectives.

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From a foundry-labourer in Moradabad to a foundry-owner in Mumbai

By on February 23rd 2021

This essay is the housing story of Ahmed (pseudonym) and his family, as it parallels housing-policy shifts in India, particularly in Mumbai. The timeframe for this story intersects with the three decades of economic liberalization and policy deregulation in India. As this personal trajectory unfolds in Dharavi, one of the biggest slums in Asia, it raises simultaneous questions and issues when linked to the social-housing evolution at the municipal and national scale. The story is broadly divided into three phases from 1990s to 2020, toggling between Ahmed’s personal journey and the political transformations occurring at different scales.

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Overview of urban house ownership in India

By on February 19th 2021

The pattern of house ownership in India varies significantly between rural and urban areas. As against 95% in rural areas, only 69% of the total households in India own houses. This pattern is not surprising as a large share of the total urban population are migrants. This note provides an overview of the house ownership in urban India.

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Anxieties concerning housing among early migrants in Pune

By on February 17th 2021

Housing remains a central issue for migrants in urban India, particularly female migrants. In this historical study of internal labour migration between the late 1960s to early 1980s, the lack of proper housing facilities in Pune city emerges as a major cause of anxiety for a section of migrants from Kerala. A closer examination of their oral narratives reveals gendered constraints in their access to rental housing in an emerging urban space.

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In Search of Home: A Study on Migrant Workers’ Access to Housing and Land

By 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.

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The fallacy of the affordable housing rental package

By on June 7th 2020

A commentary on the government’s proposed affordable rental housing solutions for migrant workers

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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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Informal Rental Housing Typologies and Experiences of Low-income Migrant Renters in Gurgaon

By on April 26th 2020

A significant proportion of the working poor in Asian cities live in slums as renters. An estimated 60–90 per cent of low-income rentals in Asia are in the informal sector; 25 per cent of India’s housing stock comprises informal rentals. Yet informal rentals remain an understudied area.

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Informal rental practices in an old sites and services resettlement: The case of Ambedkar Nagar, Chennai

By on November 24th 2019

This is a diploma thesis profiling informal rental housing through fieldwork carried out in Ambedkar Nagar, a resettlement colony in Chennai. It looks at the differences between local Tamil residents and migrants from the north-eastern region of India, and analyses how financial means can affect housing pathways and the security of tenure for different income groups.

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