“The private sector can play a big role in affordable housing, most notably in terms of providing technological solutions, project financing and delivery.”
“Disruptive innovations on these fronts, with a specific focus on affordable housing, are the need of the hour,” JLL India chairman and country head Anuj Puri said.
The government thus needs to formulate policies for greater participation from the private sector.
He said given the complexity of the affordable housing conundrum in India, only a multi-pronged approach with equal weightage given to each element can hope to break the deadlock.
Mr Puri said urban local bodies can develop guidelines by giving free sale areas, extra floor space index (FSI) and other policy-level incentives to real estate developers, thereby attracting them to develop affordable housing.
“Schemes for redevelopment and slum rehabilitation should be developed with incentives that generate sufficient returns for the developers, while simultaneously controlling the development density,” he said.
Mr Puri opined that a cost-benefit analysis of regulations should be carried out from a development perspective to ensure that schemes to facilitate affordable housing development are actually realistic and feasible.
Also, it is important to formulate guidelines that will identify the appropriate beneficiaries for affordable housing projects.
“This is critical, as the involvement of speculative investors in such projects defeats the whole purpose… The National Population Register and issuance of unique identities via the Unique Identification Authority of India will become crucial elements in identifying the right beneficiaries if they are linked with income levels,” he said.
Apart from this, the government also needs to innovate on micro-mortgage financing mechanisms to ensure a larger reach, streamline land records to improve planning and utilization of land, include mass housing zones in city master plans and also deploy well-researched rental housing schemes in urban areas.
“Housing for all by 2022 is indeed a workable vision if a determined and focused effort based on these solutions is employed – and it will definitely yield the desired results,” he added.