Govt. working actively on bringing new norms to give big push to affordable rental housing in the country, says Mr. D S Mishra

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New Delhi: In a bid to resurrect affordable rental housing sector the government is actively working on bringing new norms soon to give a big push to affordable rental housing in the country, Mr. D S Mishra,Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, said here today at an ASSOCHAM organised webinar on the subject.

Speaking on the government’s efforts in the area for affordable housing for all, Shri. D S Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, said, “More than a crore houses are empty even now in the country because many owners have their own apprehensions on renting them out. Also, there is so much of land empty just outside the city limits and even inside. We must think if a tweak in our master plans is possible so that we can use the empty areas for affordable rental housing. We are soon bringing a new law on rental housing and this will lead to more structured approach in this sector both in urban as well as rural areas.”

“Workers who come from outside especially in big cities to work need a place to stay at affordable prices. Only then they can contribute the best for the places they work for. Also, their children too need to get the best of chances to get educated, so that they too can dream big and rise in life and also contribute to the nation’s growth.” he explained.

ASSOCHAM along with country’s noted Real estate developers, industry experts, and government representatives today came together in an online summit on ‘Housing for All- Affordable and Rental Housing: The Way Forward’to discuss the road aheadin achieving the target of providing affordable housing to all.The session afforded a thorough discussion on theopportunities, leanings from experiences, challenges and the way forward for affordable housing and rental housing sectorconsidering the serious impediments caused by the COVID19 pandemic.

Stressing the importance of Affordable Rental Housing Policy, Dr.NiranjanHiranandani, President, ASSOCHAM said, India is at the crossroads of experiencing rapid urbanization in the current decade and it is projected that urban population in India will increase to 600 million by 2031 and against the backdrop of such impending large scale urbanization in the country over the next few decades, it is important to identify, evaluate the needs of, and address the challenges faced by the largest chunk of urban housing consumers with the most pressing needs. While ownership of houses for all may not be possible, this provides the rationale for policy focus on promotion of rental housing in urban areas. A fair combination of both the affordable ownership and affordable rental housing will act as a catalytic force to achieve the overall goal of Housing for All.

The positive initiatives will go a long way in achieving the target of providing affordable housing to all and facilitate the common man to realize long cherished dream of owning a house.

Mr.AnujPuri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants Pvt Ltd. “I think the momentum on rental housing has not really picked up. If we are able to bring in the right dynamics, the right laws, the right model tendency act then that will bring a lot of good results. Today a lot of people are scared that if they give their house on rent and whether they will be able to get it back. Let the rental housing policy, let the model rent act come in a full-force. This will open up a lot of asset for rental housing purposes.”

Speaking at the webinar, Shri.AmritAbhijat, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing And Urban Affairssays “With Covid-19 we saw an unprecedented reverse migration of labourers, students and industrial workers. One of the critical reason for which is that they do not have a proper house they could live in during the pandemic as many of them could have been squatting. In the many years since the independence, housing is still an issue and large numbers of slums continue to come up. We have brought about an important strategic shift in our thinking when it comes to housing. For a long time we have thought of housing as ownership based in all government schemes, but not all migrants and industrial workers have the need to own a house, as they are not necessarily restricted to an urban center and may move to another city as they advance in career. There is a large segment of population who need a house but perhaps not in the ownership model. A model that allows a worker to live in a reasonable accommodation close to his workplace whether through private sector housing or government sector housing such as JNNURM is the need of the hour”

“We are for the first time trying to help the private sector through incentivising the policy approach and we are open to new ideas on what more we could do make affordable housing a reality” added Mr AmritAbhijat

Asking GST input which was allowed before 31, March 2019 that should be allowed again. Shri Ravi Aggarwal, Sr Member, ASSOCHAM & Co Founder & MD, Signature Global Group said, “Infrastructure status should be given to affordable housing in RBI notification also so that bank funding to affordable housing would be cheaper presently the banking norms of affordable housing and non-affordable Housing are on similar criteria.”

Mr Aggarwal further stressed, “Labour cess should not be imposed on Affordable Housing which is charged on Normal Housing. Also, Stamp Duty for Affordable Housing should be fixed in small amount that will ultimately benefit the buyers only.”

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