Aug 31 2012 | Realty Zone

India is facing acute shortage of housing units

India is facing acute shortage of housing units and is estimated to be more than 26.53 million dwelling units as per earlier estimates for the 11th plan period. This shortage is alarming in the growing urban centres. The trend revealed by the census data of the past five decades indicate that the urban population has grown by 2.7 to 3.8% annually adding more pressure to the requirement of housing for the urban poor and the middle level income group. To understand and find solution to this ever growing problem, Project Reporter invited views of industry captains at different point of time during the last one year to recommend solution for India’s housing deficit. Find below their views...

Cherag Ramakrishnan Chief Executive Officer, Equinox Realty
There is no single or quick fix solution to this problem. One needs to carefully examine a lot of aspects and then take further steps. But a few larger areas like land and approvals, if dramatically changed can give a big impetus to the realty sector and in turn to the housing issue. The financial market, specific to the real estate industry, will be the other big area which will be of significant importance in this regard.

Rakesh Sanghvi, Director, Sanghvi Group of Companies
Redevelopment, affordable housing, single window clearance system and the recent changes in the DCR that would bring transparency would be the best solution to India’s growing housing deficit.

Jateen Gupta, Managing Director, JP Iscon Ltd
The growing housing shortage is a culmination of the high rate of urbanization with a majority of housing stock catering to the premium segment; thereby incapacitating a large section of society from owning homes. The solution to India’s growing housing deficit is affordable housing and development of semi-urban areas. The government should also seek to promote various types of public-private partnerships.

Dhaval Ajmera, Director, Ajmera Realty & Infra India
A comprehensive policy is the need of the hour to promote large scale development by providing one window time bound clearance and approvals. Construction finance should be treated as priority sector lending and treated at par with infrastructure. FDI Rules should be made easy for cheaper financing and reduction of the cost of construction. Affordable housing should be accorded fiscal benefits to entice developers and make it a viable business proposition. Housing loan rates which affect buyers directly and for a longer duration should be made affordable and interest subvention /subsidy should be extended to LIG & EIG segments.

Nishant Agarwal, Managing Director, Avighna India Ltd
In a fast growing market like India, housing is going to be one of the most important requirements in the years to come. In order to curtail this deficit, there needs to be proper planning from the administration in terms of infrastructure and amenities. Secondly, there needs to be sops given to the real estate sector which will bring down costs thereby reducing the load on end customers.

Getamber Anand, Managing Director, ATS Group
The housing shortage in India is enormous. Many millions of homes will need to be built across India to fulfil the needs of urbanization and the vision of our country becoming slum free. We need to work out a Public-private partnership model that would enable the industry achieve scale. There is an urgent need of the Government to synergize with the Industry in developing urban infrastructure so that the current pressure of urbanization in select cities is addressed. This can be done through development of present semi-urban areas for housing requirements to make movement of people to and fro the urban employment centres more feasible and practical. Availability of funds in this capital intensive industry, a key determinant to its success, has to be unshackled and the Government must move towards a more liberalized regime of allowing access of foreign capital in this industry.

Kruti Jain, Director, Kumar Urban Development Ltd (KUL)
Post liberalization, Indian economy is progressing at brisk pace. Apparently, there is substantial rise in housing demand. But it is facing housing scarcity issues. Different government bodies have launched various schemes to tackle this problem; however it is seen that the shortage only keeps on increasing due to ever increasing population. In such situation affordable housing plays a major role and the Government seeks to promote various types of public-private partnerships. The best solution is not only to build multiple homes, but also to ensure that they are built at the right location, available at an affordable price to households that are in most need and of adequate quality to endure in the longer term. Government should also ensure the ready supply of fully serviced and planned housing land, sufficient to satisfy housing demand and the supply of low/nil cost land for affordable housing.

Suditya Sinha, Vice President (Projects), BIDPL
Appropriate housing that is cost sensitive and not based on speculation. Reality needs to be more grounded to a common man’s needs, requirements and aspirations.

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