‘Housing for All scheme will fail without release of land’

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Narendra Modi government’s ‘Housing for All’ scheme will remain unrealised without massive efforts to unlock non-essential lands being held by state-run units, speeding up approvals and financial empowerment of the poor, US real estate services firm JLL’s Indian arm said on Tuesday.

“This will require massive efforts to recognise and delineate the non-essential lands currently being held by large government bodies such as Indian Railways, ministry of public enterprises, port trusts and department of heavy industries,” JLL India chairman Anuj Puri said in a statement here, indicating the need to build 20 million homes to achieve the scheme by 2022.

“Unlocking such lands while speeding up the approval process and creating incentives for private sector participation are all needed as part of a large, coordinated effort if we are to realise the vision of Housing for All by 2022,” he said.

“To create housing for these urban poor, the only solution lies in the unlocking of land in the urban areas. The kind of housing supply that the government is targeting seems out of the question if appropriate lands are not made available,” he added.

Under the scheme, the government seeks to make the houses in urban areas, mainly to service the urban poor.

“This scheme aims to provide the urban poor with the financial muscle to buy affordable houses. By providing an interest subvention/subsidy scheme, the government is allowing access to cheaper structured finance to such low-income categories,” said JLL India.

Puri also pointed out that though the scheme provides homes to slum-dwellers at no cost through a public-private partnership (PPP) slum rehabilitation project, it offers no concrete solutions for the urban poor not residing in a slum and who want to own a house in a metro city.

“Though the loan amounts have been increased, his income levels may not qualify him for the loan disbursal amount that is high enough for him to buy a house in the current scenario, when housing prices are high,” he said.

 

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