This piece summarizes several key takeaways about property rights and informal housing markets from in-depth interviews with key informants, including housing brokers, in 35 slums in Bengaluru. The authors identified at least eighteen different official papers that have been given out to slum dwellers by one or another official agency at different stages in the slum notification process, constituting a tenure continuum. They find that although the legal process for a slum to become notified and for residents to access various individual housing documents is straightforward, ground realities are more ambiguous, and residents as a result misperceive the legal value of their housing status.
This Data Tale presents the complexity of housing documentation possessed by residents of slums in Bangalore. Based on an extensive survey by the authors, the findings of which are detailed in an accompanying opinion piece, they document 18 different kinds of documents, divided into three categories. These are listed here with accompanying illustrative images where available.
By Karen Coelho on December 6th 2021
In October 2021, the Tamilnadu government released its first-ever draft “Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy” for public comment. While long-awaited, the policy is also premature. It is not anchored in a comprehensive housing and habitat policy that defines a framework for affordable housing, slum clearance, and land use in which the relocation of slum dwellers to remote peripheries is specified as a last-ditch option. Instead of leveraging Chennai and Tamilnadu’s rich history of implementing innovative and inclusionary models of slum rehabilitation and affordable housing, the policy implicitly clings to the tired and discredited model of mass peripheral resettlement and threatens to perpetuate it further.
By IHR Team on August 24th 2021
The role of access to information in empowering the poor is well-acknowledged in India and reinforced by the experience of the Right to Information Act, 2005. However, information asymmetries continue to hamper the ability of the poor to make informed decisions about their future. A new online resource seeks to address this gap in the context of housing. The IHR team speaks to the founders about their motivations, challenges and aspirations for this platform.
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.
By Kaveri Thara on July 13th 2021
India witnesses a massive crisis in housing with 95.62% (2012) of this shortfall felt by economically weaker sections and low income groups. Yet we do not see these groups mobilising together to force the government to respond to their needs. In cities such as Mumbai where the majority of the population lives in poor housing, we still do not see a mass mobilisation or social movement to push the government into action. Why don’t the urban poor come together when social movements have proved effective in enabling change in policies? This piece answers this question, drawing from a longitudinal ethnography of struggles for rehabilitation housing in Bangalore.
Drawing on over a decade of research on the Kathputli Colony in Delhi, this two-part series focuses on the complex processes involved in the in-situ rehabilitation of squatter settlements. While the first part focused on the differentiated nature of the resettlement processes, this second piece focuses on the transit camp, examining the multidimensional impact on the residents who are endlessly awaiting their final rehabilitation.
Drawing on over a decade of research on the Kathputli Colony in Delhi, this two-part series focuses on the complex processes involved in the in-situ rehabilitation of squatter settlements. This first part explains the differentiated nature of the resettlement processes. This involves exclusions caused by stringent eligibility requirements, opaque enumeration processes and delays in project implementation. Additionally, an unclear legal status has kept households in a continuing state of uncertainty.
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.