This paper analyses the weight of overlapping burdens of precarity on the urban poor through the story of the demolition of an informal settlement and homeless shelter in Delhi.
In this paper, the authors bring a challenging perspective to slum studies in Delhi, India, by contrasting
the attempts at ‘slum-free city planning’ (referring to housing programmes for the urban poor) with the ‘durability’ of certain slum settlements. They examine national and local factors that temper the impact of macro-forces of neoliberalism and globalisation on slum clearance in Delhi, including institutional fragmentation, political networks, and social mobilisation. Based on two settlements selected by the Delhi Development Authority to implement its strategy of slum redevelopment under public-private partnership, we show how space-specific configurations and the interplay of actors may contribute instead to the entrenchment of slums. At the settlement level however, ‘durable’ does not mean permanent. Yet, at the city level, slum rehabilitation in partnership with private developers presents serious limits, questioning the emphasis put on this strategy to provide sustainable housing for the urban poor.
Studies across the world have shown the presence of rental housing in almost all informal and slum settlements. This research is an attempt to understand rental housing within the informal housing and discerning its characteristics in comparison to the informal sector owner-occupied housing in the city of Rajkot in Gujarat.