The Unfinished Agenda: National Housing Programmes and Policy Shifts in India

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


International advocacies, National Housing Programmes and policy shifts in India

Over the last three decades, India has become a flashpoint for housing crisis and policy experiments. In 1991, the country initiated a number of reforms embracing wider ethos of liberalization and globalization. The reform focused more on economic policies rather than housing policies, with an understanding that eventually economic gain would trickle down to the mass to achieve an all-round development, including social development. Critiques have since claimed the market model of housing works primarily in the interest of powerful property sector and not for the ‘common public’. In the last decade, the government has shifted its gear to initiate direct government intervention to provide housing to the low income and economically weaker section (EWS) of the population. There is an understanding of the limit to market model in which common public interest could be generalised and overlooked. As a result, numerous fiscal stimulus packages were designed to enable low-income people to acquire new housing. More recently, “Housing for All” scheme has been launched with an aim to build 20 million houses by 2022 to provide affordable housing. The purpose of this chapter is to trace recent policy shifts and continuities in Indian housing sector. This is done by analysing key national housing programmes that Indian government has introduced in the last two decades. For their magnitude, scale and amount of subsidies involved, these programmes are considered to be important milestones in reasserting ‘housing’ as an issue of national importance for government policy and action. The chapter explores the efficacy of different programmes in terms of addressing India’s housing crisis and contends that there has been a visible shift in policy architecture that marks the state making a U-turn to centrally-administered large scale housing programmes in order to house the urban poor, signifying a departure from the international policy trend of enabling approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHousing Policy, Wellbeing and Social Development in Asia
EditorsRebecca Chiu, Seong-Kyu Ha
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781138208186
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in International Real Estate


  • Area Studies, Built Environment, Geography, Social Sciences, Urban Studies


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