iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, March 19, 2013
At a time when India is facing acute housing shortage, Punjab is planning the country’s first rent- to-own housing scheme aimed at migrant workers and slum dwellers.

As part of the pilot project, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) plans to build and rent out 15,000 one and two bedroom flats to migrant workers/ slum dwellers for a nominal rent varying between Rs.1,800 and Rs.2,000 a month.

If a slum dweller manages to stay for 15 years without defaulting on rent, the ownership right of the flat would be transferred in his/her name.

If someone leaves midway, the flat would be rented out again. GMADA is presently in the process of conducting a survey to identify the total number of slum dwellers/ migrant workers in the city. For the pilot scheme, eligible allottees would be selected through lottery.  

While GMADA will implement the scheme, Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), a PSU under the Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation ministry will finance the project.

“Mohali falls in the industrial belt and attracts a huge migrant workforce. In the absence of affordable housing, most of them end up in slums.

"The scheme to be launched soon will not only ensure that they get a decent place to live at affordable rate but it will also check further proliferation of slums,” Vinod Kumar Joshi, regional chief, HUDCO told HT.

HUDCO is presently working on the project cost and financing details of the scheme with GMADA. According to Joshi, the rent to own housing model is easily scalable.

“The Haryana government has already shown interest to replicate the model,” he said.

India does not have a rental housing policy as of now. Globally, it is a popular concept. According to reports, in cities such as Bangkok, Berlin and New York between 40% to 80% of residents live in rental housing.