Scaling up is the biggest challenge in affordable housing: Rajiv Ranjan Mishra

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NEW DELHI (INDIA):India’s Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Joint Secretary Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said that while we have 21 lakh housing units in last two years for economically weaker sections, the target of 100 lakh houses by year 2022 under ‘Housing for All’ mission will need a rapid scaling up.

“All key stake holders including the government, financial institutions, implementing agencies, private sector, non-government organisations will need to pool in their resources to make this happen,” said Mishra at the opening of the 6th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum.

Organised by Habitat for Humanity India, the 6th edition of the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum brought together major stakeholders from the government, corporate, financial, social development and private sectors to engage in seeking solutions to poverty housing and sanitation issues and to promote affordable housing and sanitation wellbeing as drivers of economic growth. Other opening speakers Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director, Housing Development Finance Corporation and Rajan Samuel, Managing Director, Habitat for Humanity India addressed the forum theme “Housing at the Center.”

“The proposed single-window clearance, where proposals filed electronically will be taken up internally by all bodies involved to process it, would speed up the clearance and assist in faster implementation”, continued Mishra.

The empowering of local authorities, change in architecture, etc. have speeded up the process when compared to 14 lakh houses targeted to be built in ten years under JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission).

Speaking at the occasion, Renu Sud Karnad of HDFC said, “Affordable housing is a Rs. 6 lakh crore opportunity together with the social cause of providing housing for the poor” She also congratulated the government for the single-window clearance as it wound help reduce the cost of funding besides the other obvious benefits. She further pointed out that housing finance companies are doing a much efficient job in offering funding to the poor when compared to banks.

Rajan Samuel from Habitat for Humanity India further added, “Just imagine what India would look like in 2022 when every family has a decent place to live. Housing is an economic engine for low income families as it plays a vital role in the growth and development of the family, the community and of the country. With our collaboration, families can achieve the strength, stability and self–reliance they need to build a better life for themselves. “Truly, ‘Housing at the Center” reflects the importance of affordable housing in the national agenda of poverty alleviation, urban development, sanitation, disaster response and so on.”

The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in India is one in a series of meetings leading up to the biennial 6th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Hong Kong from 4th-7th September 2017. Other country forums will be held in Phnom Penh (Cambodia); Manila (Philippines) and Jakarta (Indonesia).

The housing forum this year will help articulate practical ways forward to execute the New Urban Agenda and align other initiatives that focus on housing as a central element for sound urban development. Close to 70 speakers, moderators and delegates will exchange ideas and best practices on: ‘Achieving Affordable Housing in Urban and Rural India’, ‘ODF ++’ and Sanitation Well-being’, ‘Disaster Response and Preparedness’ and Sustainable Urban Development.

Asia Pacific Housing Forum 6 is supported by the Aditya Birla Group, Aavaas by Nebula, HDFC Ltd., Covestro (India) Private Limited and National Housing Bank.