Lets talk about Property

States Asked to Evolve Affordable Housing Policies for Low Income Groups 

New Delhi: The Centre would hold discussions with the state governments about measures being taken to promote affordable housing projects for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Low Income Groups (LIG).

According to an official release here, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) has asked the states to evolve affordable housing policies to comprehensively address issues affecting the creation of affordable housing stock by laying out an enabling environment for various stakeholders to participate in housing projects for EWS and LIG.

Action taken in this regard and experiences of 10 states in promoting affordable housing stock will be discussed at a national workshop - 'Model State Urban Housing and Habitat Policy: Decisive Roadmap for Achieving Housing for All' - on October 27 in New Delhi.

While the Telangana government has proposed to promote the Singapore model of rental housing, neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has proposed several initiatives to promote affordable housing for EWS and LIG segments.

The governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which, at the workshop, will give an account of the initiatives being taken by them, have both proposed total waiver of stamp duty for affordable housing projects, the statement said.

In the Draft Affordable Housing Policy of Andhra Pradesh, presented to the Ministry of HUPA, the state government has also proposed waiver of land conversion fee, infrastructure development charges, building plan approval fee, registration fee and betterment charges to promote affordable housing for EWS and LIG besides relaxation in Floor Area Ratio (FAR).

Telangana government has also proposed similar measures. To encourage private investment in affordable housing, it has proposed twice the normal FAR besides 0.50 per cent additional FAR for timely completion of such projects, the statement said, adding that both states have proposed earmarking of 25 per cent of government land available with urban local bodies for housing for EWS and LIG segments.

The two states also envisaged single-window clearance for approving housing projects in 60 days, the statement added.

In its policy, Telangana has also proposed construction by state agencies of houses/flats on rental-cum-ownership basis on the lines of Singapore model by adopting new initiatives like 'equity building' and 'rent cum ownership' basis, especially for low income segments.

Under this model, a house/flat allotted to an EWS/LIG household will be transferred in the name of the individual after ensuring 100 per cent equity over a period of 10-15 years.

Such individuals will have the option to sell house/flat but only to the state government agency, which will then offer the same to EWS/LIG households in waiting list.

Private sector also will be encouraged to build rental housing stock with appropriate government support for the benefit of migrants.

Such initiatives and experiences of other states, the statement said, will be discussed for the benefit of all other states and stakeholders, besides the expectations of industry from affordable housing policies of states.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas (PMAY) scheme launched in June this year, about 2 crore houses are to be built in urban areas by 2022 in a bid to realise the goal of "Housing for All".

Of this, 96 per cent is meant for EWS and LIG households. The Centre has proposed to extend assistance in the range of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.30 lakh per each dwelling unit to be built under PMAY.

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Realty Trends

Home prices near most-affordable levels in over 30 years: HDFC

Home prices may have been on an upward spiral for many years, but the cost of owning a house in India remains near the most affordable level in over three decades, shows data compiled by mortgage giant HDFC Ltd.

The average price of a home, purchased with a housing loan, rose to over Rs. 45 lakh in the 2012-13 fiscal year -- marking the fourth consecutive year of uptrend from about Rs. 25 lakh in the year 2008-09, HDFC has said in a presentation.

However, factors like an even greater surge in the personal income levels, tax incentives and lower interest rates, have resulted into houses becoming more affordable to purchase, it said.



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India Property Investment Gyan

Major schemes for affordable housing to be modified: Girija Vyas

NEW DELHI: Major schemes meant for providing affordable housing to urban poor will soon be modified to make them more people-friendly, the government said today and invited the private sector to contribute more actively in this area. 

Speaking to reporters here, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) ministerGirija Vyas today said her ministry is modifying all the major schemes including the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Rajiv Rinn Yojana and the, Affordable Housing in Partnership scheme and added enormous budgetary support has been earmarked during the current plan period. 

Secretary HUPA Arun Kumar Misra told reporters that a fund of Rs 35,000 crore had been allocated to the ministry for the implementation of three major schemes, including RAY, which was being run in as a pilot project earlier under 12th five- year plan. 

He said the ministry would require approval from the cabinet for the implementation of these schemes and efforts would be made that through these funds 2 million affordable houses are encouraged. 

He said that in addition to the central government funds, banks and credit institutions would be providing funds for construction of affordable houses. 

Vyas said that with urbanisation, the number of urban homeless and area under slums had grown. 

Vyas said there was a need for private developers to develop economic models to foster affordable housing for economically weaker sections and lower income group households in urban areas as government efforts in this direction needed to be supplemented. 

Vyas also said a technical group, set up by her ministry, had shown that out of 18.78 million housing shortage in the country, 96 percent shortage is in EWS and LIG category and for this huge investments and private sector participation were required. 

Misra said the group set up by the ministry has suggested incentives for the affordable housing sector included concessions to development-related charges and service taxexemptions. 

It also sought direct tax rebates for affordable housing projects and inclusion of the sector in the 'infrastructure facility' he said and added the task force had felt that governments need to still provide direct capital grant support to affordable housing projects. 

Misra said that in the symposium held today where states, experts and private sector representatives were present, there was unanimity on many of the suggestions.

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Green Property- Eco Homes

Reclaim your city space: Projects in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata aim to transform lives

Three projects in three cities aim to transform the lives of people who live close by. The one in Mumbai hopes to transform a congested area into a green precinct; the one in Delhi converted an open drain into a walkway, while Kolkata hopes to bring the crowds back...