Watershed for Rural Housing In India: A Review of the Policy Developments, Changes and Major Issues
Keywords:Watershed, Rural Housing, Policy Developments, Changes and Issues.
AbstractOwing to the skewed nature of the housing market, the rural housing sector of the country has been facing the development exclusion for a very long period. In the absence of the major players, particularly the private sector and cooperative institutions, the sector has been historically depending only on the public investment through a number of social housing schemes. Lack of a well conceived rural housing policy and inclusive housing finance system have been the hard realities for over six decades of the development history. However, the sector has witnessed a watershed in the last decade with an exclusive policy design for the development for the first time and a number of public financial commitments like Rural Housing Fund, Golden Jubilee Rural Housing Finance Scheme, Housing Micro Finance and Refinancing Scheme of the National Housing Bank have been in vogue. Having been the first, these initiatives have impacted the sector positively in terms of creating new housing stock and in creating access to housing services, especially drinking water and household electricity, which are nearing total coverage of the households. Unfortunately, misconception of the rural housing realities, the poverty has doubled itself both absolutely and relatively. That apart, the paper has identified a number of major policy issues and offers a few policy implications for the effective development administration by making the finance system more inclusive, promotion of voluntary actions among the houseless families and evolving an integrated approach for development of housing amenities within the social housing framework. What demands for the transformation are strong political will as well as amalgamation of the housing and amenities charges.
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