What is Affordable Housing?

Kishan Thakkar K

Introduction

India has a large population that is fairly distributed between urban and rural areas. Many initiatives have been launched in recent years to meet the demand for affordable housing.

Definition of Affordable Housing

Housing units that are affordable for those with incomes below the average household income are referred to as affordable housing. In India, low-cost affordable housing is available for low-income individuals, middle-income individuals, and economically weaker sections (urban areas).

New carpet area limit

Affordable housing is defined as a house or flat with a carpet area of up to 90 square meters in non-metropolitan cities and towns and a carpet area of up to 60 square meters in metropolitan cities, with a value of up to Rs 45 lakh in both cases.

Measures were taken by the government to help with the development of affordable housing

There are several government initiatives aimed at assisting poor people in building homes. Many of the supporting measures have already been implemented in previous budgets. The government proposes the following in the Union Budget for 2017-18.

  • Affordable housing will be granted infrastructure status, which will allow developers to access funds from a variety of sources, including external commercial borrowings (ECB), foreign venture capital investors (FVCI), and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs).
  • Increased the time for affordable housing promoters to complete projects from three to five years;
  • Developers were given a year to pay tax on notional rental income on completed but unsold units;
  • Reduced the three-year holding period for long-term capital gains for affordable housing to two years;
  • The qualifying criteria for affordable housing have been changed from saleable area to carpet area;
  • National Housing Bank (NHB) has improved its refinancing facility for individual loans in the affordable housing segment.

The following are some of the government’s initiatives for affordable housing,

  • Housing for all Mission, 2015
  • Pradhan Mantri Awa Yojana, 2015 
  • Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing Investment, 2019

Government initiatives are focused on making affordable housing available, but real estate developers also have a part to play in ensuring over 80% of new housing development launches in 2020 will be affordable.

Those who are interested in reading more such blogs, subscribe to us on The Real Talks and continue reading the latest industry trends. You can also reach out to Roodland India at info@roodland.com to get assistance in any service related to the real estate sector.

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