With the onset of COVID pandemic not only the healthcare sector has to face the test of time but the entire economy. The Government of India’s ambitious affordable housing programme also faced challenges. To bring the sector back on track, the government has been taking various measures. Also, development authorities and corporations are contributing to the programme. To address this, Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. organised National Housing Summit on August 26, 2020.
Addressing the summit, Dr V Ram Prasath Manohar, Managing Director, Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation Ltd, Karnataka, said, “The Bengaluru city caters to over a crore of population and hence has a significant demand for affordable housing for the middle class and lower sects of the society. Keeping this in mind we launched a housing scheme under which 1 lakh beneficiaries were provided with affordable housing units.” As much as 1000 acres of government land was put to use to create such affordable housing units, he added.
“We did our projects under EPC and PPP modes. In the EPC model, we faced difficult choices. We had to go for an intensive model wherein the beneficiary has to give more amount also the bank has to sell out more loans. In the second one was a relaxed model wherein we can leverage other resources like FAR. So, up to five FAR can help in reducing the cost of construction. Right now we are building a single bedroom and double bedroom models to EWS and MIG categories respectively”, he said.
Speaking on incentives offered to people, Manohar said, “We are providing various benefits especially to those from the unorganised sector. We are not only helping them save money but also providing RERA registration for which these people do not have to pay.” Moreover, people are being helped to get legal clearances and loans from the banks online, he added.
Apart from this, policy-level changes have also been implemented. Changes in land rules have been introduced like the land available under red, green and yellow zone can be used for residential purposes depending on the need. The relaxations have been given to the private developers as well. If they are developing a residential project under the PPP model they can use the land for residential purposes. Further, more relaxations have also been given to ease housing in the state of Karnataka.
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Addressing the challenges he said, “Due to the low real estate valuation of TDR, monetising it is one of the big challenges we are facing. Also, mobilising the fund is another big challenge. Due to the COVID pandemic, we are unable to reach out to people for their contribution and this has been affecting the cash flow.”
Concluding his address he highlighted, “Other than this, innovative technologies are also being used so that the quality of the housing units are taken care of and the beneficiaries get their houses in time.