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.
This article attempts to capture the story of an informally employed low-income household who, with the help of informal financial agents, successfully navigated the informal-formal space of housing finance to buy the house of their choice. The article starts with contextualising the accessibility and affordability constraints for housing finance faced by low-income households. Following this, we discuss a case study of an informally employed home loan borrower, explaining the negotiations playing at the cusp of the informal-formal. Lastly, we deliberate upon the roles of lending institutions, specifically during the COVID-19 crisis and the financial recovery of the home loan industry.
By Saurabh Bhatia on September 7th 2021
As a response to the COVID-19 migrant crisis and in furtherance of the Government of India’s ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ mission, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) programme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme to improve the living conditions of urban poor/migrant workers. Although the initiative is a novel step, it operational aspects demand more than what is being offered for enabling private/public agencies to leverage the opportunity and turn it into a grand scale programmatic intervention.
By Tanu Kumar on August 31st 2021
Governments have come up with several schemes to address the housing deficit for low-income households, including the construction and sale of public housing at subsidised prices, which are then allocated to applicants by lottery. This piece presents the findings of a recent study of 834 total winners and non-winners of such lotteries run by the Maharashtra Housing And Development Authority in Mumbai. The study finds large differences between winners and non-winners three to five years after the lotteries were held. It finds that the provision of this housing, as an asset, changed the lives of beneficiaries positively, and identifies the lack of involuntary displacement as a key component to this change.
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.
Drawing on a mixed-method comparative study of experiences of families moving to five peripheral settlements in Ahmedabad, Chennai and Johannesburg, the paper indicates two linked challenges to the social and economic mobility of the peripheralised urban poor: first, their immediate and individual ability to be mobile within the city and second, the longer-term social mobility of their households.
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.
By Malay Kotal on June 16th 2021
Access to land in Indian cities is a major challenge for the urban poor due to the complexity of land tenure, scarcity of land, speculative land prices, and lack of political will. As a result, a majority of them are forced to live in informal settlements without having secure tenure, facing continuous threats of eviction and demolition, which puts them in an unending vicious cycle of poverty. Creation of new housing stock under different housing schemes has been the dominant strategy to address the housing shortage, but remains ineffectual on account of being a time consuming and capital intensive process. The other way to address the problem was to regularize and upgrade the existing housing stock occupied by poor groups. Over the years, state governments have introduced various tenurial measures to address this conundrum of housing and land. This article attempts a nuanced understanding of the effectiveness of these tenurial measures in augmenting and improving the urban poor housing scenario.
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.