The Government of India launched an ambitious mission of ‘Housing For All’ with an aim to provide all a house by 2022. Under this, the major focus was on the poor and homeless, especially the migrant labourers. However, the COVID pandemic brought along various challenges that adversely affected economic activities and the housing sector was no different. Addressing these issues, Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. organised National Housing Summit on August 26, 2020.
Dr Prashant Narnaware, Joint Managing Director, CIDCO, Maharashtra, commenced his address by listing that challenges that the housing sector is facing due to the COVID pandemic. He said, “The foremost challenge is the falling demand. Due to the economic slowdown, the demand is falling, at the same time low liquidity, less availability of credit, are the challenges that the sector is facing as a result of the pandemic.” the government is trying to invest in the basic infrastructure but post-pandemic the availability of funds with the government will also be a challenge, he added.
However, the government has to invest in the infrastructure because unless that is done the allied sectors will not come up and therefore we need to think about a change in modules in the housing sector post-pandemic.
Speaking on the changes in the market for the housing sector post-pandemic, Dr Narnaware said, “The things are also going to change post-pandemic and people will be willing to buy houses. Therefore, the incentives that we give for the economically weaker section (EWS) housing under the PMAY will be there and these will give a great impetus to the housing sector.”
Addressing the changing trend in commercial spaces, he pointed out, “Besides this, it is seen that the model of housing, apart from ownership, is moving towards rental. Wok from Home and Co-working spaces are the emerging trends in terms of commercial settlements and these are going to emerge post-pandemic. Moreover, the companies, post-pandemic, might have rental housing for their employees and the might ask them to work from there so they save significantly in frontline offices.” With this, the tenancy is likely to rise as a business, especially for houses with big infrastructure, he added.
In his concluding note, he addressed how these changing trends might open a new business opportunity and revenue collection model. Throwing light on this he said, “I feel the new models that are coming up post-pandemic are going to change the entire game in the housing sector. In addition to the premium housing, the low-cost housing under PMAY, the rental housing and tenancy of co-working spaces and commercial spaces are going to open new opportunities and new models of revenue collection for the infrastructure project. This will help people to come up with a different business pattern.”