The research paper on affordable housing, written by a group of five second-year management students from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, won the second prize at Strategym, an annual research paper competition, on Thursday.
A 70-kilometer radius from the centre of the city as a charmed circle or an “affordable housing zone” is one of the main proposals put forward in the paper funded by DHFL, a housing finance company.
“The respondents surveyed identified the Andheri to Bandra stretch as the centre where they had to go to work,” said Mukund Thakkar, 23, a member of the team. “So, we suggested specifically developing affordable housing around this area.”
The paper also suggested a single-window clearance for permits, tax incentives and tax subsidies for developers creating such affordable properties and a regulatory authority for the real estate sector.
“We were looking at affordable housing as a business proposition, but it needs to be differentiated from regular real estate projects,” said Harshul Savla, 22, another team member. We were looking to create an ecosystem of affordable housing.”
The team identified several parameters to define “affordable housing” including a surface area of 260 to 350 square feet, at a price point between 1,600 and Rs2,500 per square foot with the cost price of the property falling between Rs4.1 lakh and Rs8.75 lakh. The buyers they were looking at were those in the monthly household income range from Rs7,500 to Rs35,000.
The paper identified four stakeholders: customers, housing finance companies, government bodies and developers and spoke to each of the different groups. The paper also recommended that for customers in the informal sector with fluctuating incomes, housing finance companies lend on the basis of an “alternative risk model” or on the basis of buyers’ earning capacity.