HOUSING FOR ALL – did Haryana Government just get it right?

Can the Government, with positive intent, actually make a difference? We touch upon Housing for All scheme – DEEN DAYAL AWAS YOJANA – and discuss if the model indeed is worth it & replicable.

I have a dream – to have a dream home – but it is too expensive – let me go back to sleep again!

We stand on a KACHCHA ground

HOUSING FOR ALL is a big enough challenge in India. This is even bigger a challenge for the Middle Income, the Lower Middle income and the Lower Income earning class.

No wonder, the dwelling spaces of these Middle/Lower income groups range from illegal slums & J J Clusters (Jhuggi Jhopdi) to the legal but unauthorized colonies. Across NCR one can find these unauthorized colonies in abundance like Shanti Nagar, Vikas Nagar, Maruti Kunj among so many others.

These colonies are/were developed by the landowner/developer by simply geographically dividing the Agricultural land into smaller plots and providing road access to these plots. There was no provision for basic infrastructures such as roads, sewerage, water connection or other basic amenities.

In local parlance, they are commonly referred to as “Kachchi Colonies” as the owners did not pay conversion/development charges to the government. These are “unauthorized”, although not “illegal”.

With population bursting out of seams, because of migration & natural reasons, these settlements did satisfy the needs for the housing requirements of a sizeable number of the Middle/Lower income populace. They always have and will have takers in the market. But the living conditions in these settlements is only a tad better than “slum clusters” due to lack of basic infra.

In smaller mofussil towns, High Rise apartments still do not have many takers. In these towns, the costs of such development are beyond the reach of the majority of the population.

While not much changes with in slums & Kachchi colonies – the high rises are still beyond the reach of majority

HOUSING FOR ALL – did Haryana Government just get it right?

DEEN DAYAL JAN AWAS YOJANA

To address the housing requirements of a majority of the population, the Government of Haryana came out with the “Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojana”. The target was to provide affordable yet viable housing to about 8 lakh people in the low/medium potential towns of Haryana.

The technical aspects of the scheme are as follows:

To allow for not more than 30% high-density development (including 20% group housing) in the residential sectors of the master plans of these particular towns.
Development size under the scheme to be from 5 acres to 15 acres.
Biggest individual plot size can be of 150 sq meters.
Developer allowed to develop and sell up to 65% of the area In comparison to a normal plotted development, after netting for EWS (Economically Weaker Section) and NPNL (No Profit No Loss) development, the area available to sale to a developer was 30%. Hence a developer has now been allowed to sell more than double as compared.
There is no capping on the registry of houses irrespective of the plot size. As compared to regular residential plotted development where less than 200 square yard plots are not eligible for individual floors being registered.
The density and FAR allowable have both been enhanced to help the objectives of the scheme being achieved. The Density allowed is 240-400 people per acre as compared to 100-300 in regular plotted development. FAR allowed is up to 2 as compared to 1.35-1.75 in the regular plotted development.
Further, no conversion charges are being levied on these developments and the license fee has also been reduced to keep the prices affordable.

Technical Features of Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojana

Technical Features of DeenDayal Jan AwasYojana

 

In addition, the Government has also created safeguards to ensure that the coloniser completes the required Infrastructure. Upto 50% of the saleable area would remain frozen with the DTCP, till the time the coloniser doesn’t complete the Infrastructure development.

In a nutshell, without any disagreement, one will have to credit the government for having devised a progressive and balanced policy which will cater to the housing demands of the middle-income segment of the society.

THE SHREWD COLONISER

The problem is again the Coloniser. The government under this policy, unlike the affordable housing, has not set an upper price cap.

This, after giving the developer lots of sops such as allowing extra saleable area, reducing the upfront outgo of conversion charges among other things. Ideally, the developers should have kept the prices to match the government’s policy sentiment of providing affordable housing to people. However, the fact is that the developers are selling residential plots at a higher price as compared to the regular development of other licensed colonies.

THE SHREWD COLONISER

Mr. Chief Minister – are you listening?

Given this scenario the Government should place an upper cap on the pricing of the inventory under the “Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojana” scheme else it will become a Developers Benefit Scheme and the intended beneficiary, which is middle/low income earner, will still remain eluded of the dream dwelling units.

The Government should also place restrictions on a purchase just like they have done it in the “Affordable Housing Scheme” so that “Real Estate Hoarders” do not buy in bulk. It should be one household, one unit.

Under this scheme, the Government has lost revenue and the intention is to benefit the people. The people have lost because inspite of the discounts provided by the government the buyers are not getting the benefits.

It is the unscrupulous developers and Hoarders/investors who are having the last laugh under this scheme, which defeats the purpose of allowing high-density development by relaxing master planning norms.

Finally one would expect the Government to extend the scheme and its benefits to the hyper/high potential towns of Gurgaon/Faridabad and Panchkula as these towns also have an acute housing shortage. The number of unauthorized colonies in these towns is as big as those in the low/medium potential towns and hence an extension of the scheme to the hyper/high potential towns would definitely be a positive step in the fulfilling the agenda of housing for all.

Dream of Housing for All is closer now. Removing the kinks in the model & replicating it across can indeed solve a major problem for India.