RICS report on affordable housing

 The report, drawn up by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in association with their knowledge partners Levvel and CBRE, was released at a national conference, featuring key stakeholders and international experts in affordable housing. The research report was released by Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA) and Minister of Tourism Kumari Selja.

“In order to manage housing demand and the need for affordable housing, India is moving towards formal systems of registering property rights for individuals and companies, which are private, tradable and enforceable. A system for robust householder and individual identification is being introduced.

This will provide security of tenure (rented and for sale housing), which will provide confidence to investors and mortgage financiers. This in turn will lead to more competition in the financing markets and thus sustainable lending practices, providing access to funding for all, including micro financing.

In addition, whilst India has a number of funding programmes, providing capital subsidy into affordable housing, consideration could be given to better targeting of subsidies, ensuring they provide enduring affordable housing for homes in housing need. Hence greater transparency in distributing subsidies and allocation of funds is required.

Particular care is also needed in ensuring subsidies do not distort the existing housing market, by increasing demand for affordable housing in particular locations.

Facilitating housing supply

Housing supply is notoriously price-inelastic in the short term and hence the fundamental issue of the shortfall in the capacity of the house building industry should be addressed.
Should the private sector take up the whole of this responsibility or should government also participate?

The main priority for an enabling strategy is to ensure adequate infrastructure is provided for future generations. Thus infrastructure planning which takes into account the projected size of the cities is essential, which includes new investment, improvement to/extension of existing infrastructure.

Without the infrastructure there will be no more housing, let alone affordable housing, so it must come first. Planning policy in a mature housing market ensures this priority is achieved by requiring development to provide enabling and internal infrastructure, affordable housing and other community benefits.”

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