The estimated housing
shortage in urban areas has been reduced to about 10 million units from the 2011 projection of 18.76 million.
Speaking at a real estate conference, Puri said a technical study conducted by the government in 2011 estimated housing
shortage at 18.76 million units in urban areas, of which 96 per cent pertained to the economically weaker section (EWS) and lower income group (LIG).
“Subsequent assessments that were carried out since 2011 have resulted in this figure being revised to something around or near 10 million units. Even 10 million is a very large number,” he said.
The government will use its own surplus land to build affordable homes and address this shortage, he said, and asked real estate firms to focus on affordable housing
projects. The scheme is designed to ensure that by 2022, every Indian owns a residential unit, the minister said. Puri said the government proposes to address this housing
shortage through its flagship PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) Urban and Housing
For All. “The thrust of this mission is to make available housing
for the EWS, lower income groups and the middle income groups by harnessing government land,” he added.
The minister said various models have been released to encourage housing
through private partnership. Under this scheme, he said the government would make available the land as well as provide subsidy to allottees and assist them in getting concessional funding from banks. “The house will be registered in the name of the lady singly or co-jointly along with the male member. This will help our overall objective of gender empowerment. Even the smallest unit will have a kitchen and a toilet,” he said.
The minister added that project delays, diversion of funds by builders, broken contracts and promises have affected in the growth of the real estate sector. “Broken promises, incomplete housing
projects tell a tragic tale of untold misery inflicted on hapless citizens who, in many instances, had pledged their life time savings and even the family silver just to own a house,” he added.
The government has put in place an eco-system to ensure that real estate sector is properly governed and buyers are empowered, he said, adding that when the history of Indian real estate will be written in two segments - pre- and post-Real Estate Regulatory Act.
“We are not out of that phase yet and we have a huge pipeline which we have to deal with... We are still witnessing the final phase of a cleaning up process involving the misdemeanors of a few who tarnished the image of the many developers who were genuine in their dealings,” Puri said.He also expressed concern over some of the states tweaking laws for ongoing projects.
Highlighting the importance of the housing
sector, the minister said it plays a catalytic role in fulfilling the demand for housing
and is the second largest sector after agriculture providing employment to 6.86 per cent of the workforce in the country.