Rental Housing


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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The Model Tenancy Act, 2021: Falling short in catalysing the housing rental market

By and on June 8th 2021

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.

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The What, Why, And How Of Changing Cooling Energy Consumption In India’s Urban Households

By on May 28th 2021

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.

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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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Owners, Renters and Buyers: What happened over time? (Part-2)

By on April 16th 2021

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.

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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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Insights on rental practices in a mature sites and services resettlement site in Chennai

By on March 9th 2021

A major political question for governments around the globe is to determine which form of housing tenure – ownership or rental – would best fit their housing policy agenda. It is now well understood that both forms of tenure need to be taken into consideration as complementary and integral parts of urban housing markets. However, rental housing is not a distinct category, but an umbrella term which covers diverse manifestation of renting a home and various forms of supply. Based on fieldwork conducted in 2019, this piece explores the rental practices in Ambedkar Nagar, a 1990s sites and services scheme in Chennai, India in the context of recent changes in rental legislation in the state of Tamil Nadu where Chennai is located.

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Cities Divided: How Exclusion Of Muslims Sharpens Inequality

By and on March 2nd 2021

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.

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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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