Discrimination in rental housing shapes our cities, demarcating what spaces are ‘open’ or ‘closed’ to some citizens. Interviewees told researchers of the Housing Discrimination Project that it makes Muslims feel safe only in some areas, unwelcome elsewhere.
By Rohit Lahoti 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.