Since 1991 with the advent of globalization and economic liberalization, basic conceptual and discursive changes took place in the housing sector in India. The new changes suggest how housing affordability, quality, and lifestyles reality shifted for various segments of the population. The changes in lifestyles and quality have significant influence on how the concept of affordability is perceived. It is argued that it remains a dynamic concept, which is not only constantly changing but also increasingly incorporating quality and lifestyle issues. Such shift not only reflects structural patterns but also stimulates an ongoing transition process. This study highlights a twin impetus that continues to shape the ongoing transition: Expanding middle class and their wealth—a category with distinctive lifestyles, desires, and habits and the notion of nuclear family and acceptance of confined spaces and privacy of apartments. Both premises are the by-product of Westernization and their notions of privacy and ideologies. Capitalizing this, developers have consistently raised the overall quality and standards of housing (as a bundle of services) defining “lifestyle” for expanding middle class and ignoring in the process, the lifestyle preferences of the poor. This paper attempts to map the changing perception of affordability, quality, and lifestyles in Indian housing and to articulate the function of housing as a conceptualization of social reality in globalizing society in modern India. It is argued that in the context of growing agreement and inevitability of market provision of “affordable housing”, the unbridled “market-defining” of housing quality and lifestyles must be checked.
|Title of host publication
|Urban dynamics, environment and health: an international perspective
|Braj Raj Kumar Sinha
|Published - 04 Jan 2024