Who can build Housing for All?


Policy slogans are usually fragments of a sentence. Make in India. Housing for All. Swatch Bharat. What’s usually missing in the fragment is that the verb has no subject to agree with. For slogans to become statements, missions, policies and actions, someone has to make in india, keep it swachh and build the housing. The big elephant in the room is: who?

For housing, this is a particularly important challenge. The numbers are daunting: a shortage of 18.78 million housing units in 2012. Over 95% of this shortage is for low-income households that make less than Rs 2 lacs total household income per year. Taking the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation’s own formula that a household can afford a house five times its annual income, this means “Housing for All” needs to make nearly 17 million houses all under Rs 10 lacs. That’s the finish line.

So: who…

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