Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Government Working on Housing Scheme for Middle Class

Following Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement in the Budget 2024 regarding a housing scheme for the middle class, the Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary, Manoj Joshi, stated that the government is actively “working on a scheme” to facilitate middle-class individuals in purchasing or constructing their homes. This revelation was made at the NAREDCO’s National Convention on February 2.

Joshi emphasized the critical role of the real estate sector in India’s goal of becoming a $30 trillion economy by 2047. He highlighted the necessity to promote affordable housing and called for innovative approaches to cross-subsidize such initiatives.

Addressing the shortage of affordable housing, Joshi stated, “The government’s priority is to work with the states and the urban local authorities so that the urban planning process generates enough affordable housing.” He stressed the importance of developers allocating at least 15 percent or more of their projects to the affordable housing segment.

To support urban reforms, the government allocated ₹20,000 crore in the current financial year, aimed at initiatives such as town planning schemes, hiring urban planners, and modifying building bylaws to reduce the cost of providing affordable housing.

Joshi urged state governments to undertake urban planning reforms to address the high costs of land and construction, particularly in larger towns. He proposed setting aside a portion of developed land for affordable housing and providing higher Floor Space Index (FSI) at reduced costs. Additionally, he suggested relaxing zoning regulations and building norms to boost affordable housing.

The Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary invited suggestions from NAREDCO on increasing the affordable housing stock and expressed a focus on improving transportation, including the provision of electric buses.

During the NAREDCO conference, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Kaushal Kishore, emphasized the importance of quality and sustainability in housing projects. He urged real estate and construction firms not to underquote prices during the tendering process and stressed the need for on-time completion, especially for affordable housing projects.

NAREDCO called on the government to prioritize the rental housing policy and National and State Master Plans. The Chairman of NAREDCO, Niranjan Hiranandani, suggested that affordable rented apartments could be a viable solution, given the government’s constraints in providing free housing to all. The conference also witnessed the launch of the Naredco KPMG Report, titled ‘Navigating the dynamics of real estate in India – Smart, sustainable and connected.’ The report highlighted the sector’s resilience and projected substantial growth by 2030.

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