As against the national average of the urban population of 31.16 per cent, Gujarat has an urban population of 42.58 per cent. Urban Housing has always been a challenge for the state. Hence, to address the dual challenges of the redevelopment of slums and providing affordable housing for all, Gujarat has taken significant measure for affordable housing and slum redevelopment, writes Lochan Sehra, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Gujarat.
A comprehensive mission “Housing for All (HFA) by 2022” was launched under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) by the Central Government on June 25, 2015. To achieve this ambitious goal, The Government of Gujarat has taken several policy initiatives and reform measures. The Government of Gujarat has adopted and prepared State Level Housing Policies in accordance with the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Scheme.
A total of 171 towns of eight Municipal Corporations and 162 Municipalities along with Saputara, a notified town, have been selected under the PMAY scheme. A demand survey had been carried out, in the year 2016, to find the actual housing demand in these areas. As a result of the survey, a total demand of 7.64 lakh houses had been identified under four components of the PMAY scheme. Apart from this, a plan of action had also been prepared to achieve the goal of the mission. The Government of Gujarat had finalised roadmap strategy in accordance with the findings for year wise planning of houses and implementation of the action plan.
Four Components of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP)
Under the first component, Affordable Housing in Partnership, of the PMAY scheme, there are a few important points that govern it.
- Using land as a resource
- Considering the Economically Weak Section (EWS) category, The land area for EWS-I will be up to 30 sqm and EWS-II 31-40 sqm.
- As per the partnership component, the state government will be providing the assistance of Rs 1.50 lakh and the Central Government will also be providing the assistance of Rs.1.50 lakh per house.
- Moreover, under the scheme, a Residential Affordable Housing Zone has been created in Ahmedabad. With this, planning norms specific to affordable housing have also been laid down for inclusive planning for the first time. Building bye-laws and Zoning Regulations including relaxations in height restriction are also being offered to boost the affordable housing
- The land required for the construction of affordable housing units by the Gujarat Housing Board, Urban Local Bodies and Urban Authorities is being provided at nominal/concessional rates. The Land bank created from ULC surplus land, reserved land for EWS housing in Town Planning schemes. Also, the government-owned land is being utilized for this purpose.
- As many as 1,72,689 houses have been approved under the AHP on government land.
- Moreover, in September 2017, the Central Government decided to include affordable housing of EWS category to be built on private land by Private Developers under AHP component of PMAY (U). Therefore, from Gujarat alone, a total of 43,533 houses have been approved under the Private AHP.
Also Read: Housing For All: A Dream Turning to Reality
In-situ Slum Redevelopment through PPP
- The state has initiated the scheme of ‘In-situ Slum Redevelopment’ through public-private partnership (PPP) model, where higher FSI, transferrable development rights are to be given to private developers in lieu of the cost of contribution. Apart from the provision of physical infrastructure like underground drainage, water supply, internal roads, social infrastructure like schools, Anganwadis, healthcare centres, will also be provided.
- State assistance is Rs 1 lakh per house against Central Assistance of Rs 1 lakh per house.
- However, the state’s assistance will go up to Rs 2 lakh in case of negative bidding.
- Slum redevelopment under the PPP model has also received encouraging response from slum dwellers and developers. So far, 64,150 houses are sanctioned under the ‘In-situ Slum Redevelopment’ component of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), mainly in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Junagadh cities.
Credit linked Subsidies schemes
The Central Government provides an interest subvention on the loans sanctioned for housing and its cover houses up to 200 sqm of carpet area.
- For EWS and LIG (area up to 60 sqm), the interest subvention is at5 per cent on loans of up to Rs 6 lakh.
- For MIG-I (area up to 150 sqm), the interest subvention is at four per cent on loans up to Rs 9 lakh.
- For MIG-II (area up to 200 sqm), the interest subvention is at three per cent on loans up to Rs 12 lakh.
- Under this scheme, there are more than two lakh beneficiaries who have been benefitted for interest subvention.
- Gujarat is ranked at the top amongst the states under CLSS.
Beneficiary-led construction has been rolled out as a measure to benefit various beneficiaries under the affordable housing scheme, especially for those under the EWS category. This component of the PMAY enables the individuals of EWS category to construct houses on their own. For new houses, the state provides an assistance of Rs 2 lakh per house against the Central Government’s assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh per house. A total of 82,670 houses have been approved under this component.
So far, under the four components of PMAY (U), around 5.63 lakh houses have been sanctioned, out of which about 2.75 lakh houses have been completed, and rest are at various stages of construction.
Further, there have been several steps and initiatives taken by the Government of Gujarat in terms of Affordable Housing Sector. Some of the major ones include:
- Allotment of Houses to beneficiaries is done in a completely transparent and online process in a computerized draw system following the model of NIC.
- Moreover, a Residential Affordable Housing Zone has been created in Ahmedabad and planning norms specific to affordable housing have been laid down for inclusive planning for the first time. Building bye-laws and zoning regulations including relaxation in height restriction are also offered to boost this sector.
- The land for affordable housing to be constructed by Gujarat Housing Board, ULBs and Urban authorities will be provided at nominal/concessional rates. Land bank created from ULC surplus land, reserved land for EWS housing in Town Planning schemes and Government lands are being utilized for this purpose.
Redevelopment of public colonies
The redevelopment policy was announced in 2016 for societies/colonies which are 20 years old/under the deteriorated condition and whose FSI is not used completely.
These kinds of colonies/societies will be included in this scheme and redeveloped with minimum expenditure incorporating Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The policy provides extra carpet area and advanced infrastructure facilities without any cost to the existing residents. Furthermore, this policy will also help to create more affordable housing stock through maximum usage of FSI.
State Policy of Redevelopment of Slums situated on the Private land in Municipal Corporation areas of Gujarat
Government has launched a new policy on August 8, 2019, which covers redevelopment of slums situated on private lands in Municipal Corporation areas. This policy is designed explicitly, for slum dwellers that enable them to have pucca houses of area up to 37 sqm free of cost on the same location with all basic facilities. It is expected that this scheme will provide benefit to 1.50 lakh families residing in the slums situated on private land.
Hence, considering the above-mentioned schemes, policies, and noteworthy measures taken by the Government of Gujarat to boost the affordable housing sector in the state, it will not be wrong to say that it is one among the front runners in terms of development in the housing sector.