Urban Housing

Housing Policy

 

The National Urban Housing & Habitat Policy 2007 (NUHHP-2007) has been formulated keeping in view the changing socio-economic parameters of the urban areas and growing requirement of shelter and related infrastructure. The Policy seeks to promote various types of public-private partnerships for realizing the goal of “Affordable Housing for All” with special emphasis on the urban poor. Given the magnitude of the housing shortage and budgetary constraints of both the Central and State Governments, the NUHHP-2007 focuses the spotlight on multiple stake-holders namely, the Private Sector, the Cooperative Sector, the Industrial Sector for labour housing and the Services/ Institutional Sector for employee housing.

The action plan of the NUHHP-2007 states that the Central Government will encourage and support the States to prepare a State Urban Housing and a concomitant State Urban Housing and Habitat Action Plan, which may include passing of specific Acts the States/UTs  for realizing the policy objectives through legal and regulatory reforms, fiscal concessions, financial sector reforms and  introduction of innovative instruments, for mobilizing recourses for housing and related infrastructure development at the State/UT level.

The Policy envisages specific roles for the Central Government, State Governments, local bodies, banks & housing finance companies, public/parastatal agencies. The roles of these agencies are briefly discussed as under.

Role of Central Government:

  • To  act as a ‘facilitator’ and ‘enabler’
  • To advise and guide respective State Governments to adopt and implement the National Urban Housing & Habitat Policy in a time bound manner.
  • To promote balanced regional development in the country by suitably decentralizing functions relating to development of the Housing Sector and promotion of an ecologically sound habitat.
  • To develop suitable financial instruments for promotion of housing for the EWS and LIG groups serviced by basic amenities.
  • To promote action plans for creation of adequate infrastructure facilities relating to water, drainage, sanitation, sewerage, power supply and transport connectivity.
  • To develop economically viable housing promotion models and standards for provision of physical, social and economic services.
  • To develop suitable fiscal concessions in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance for promotion of housing and urban infrastructure with special focus on EWS/LIG beneficiaries

Role of State Government:

  • To prepare the State Urban Housing and Habitat Policy.
  • To act as a facilitator and enabler in collaboration with ULBs/ Parastatals/ Private Sector/ Co-operative Sector/ NGOs with regard to Integrated Slum Development Projects as well as Integrated Township Development Projects.
  • To ensure suitable flow of financial resources to potential EWS/LIG beneficiaries as well as undertake viability gap funding of large housing and habitat development projects.
  • To prepare medium term and long term strategies for tackling problems relating to provision of adequate water supply, drainage, sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management, power supply and transport connectivity.
  • To promote and incentivise decentralized production and availability of local building materials.
  • To prepare and update Master Plans along with Zonal Plans, Metropolitan Plans, District Plans and the State level Regional Plan by respective agencies with provision of adequate land for urban poor.
  • To promote well designed Public-Private Partnerships for undertaking housing and infrastructure projects.
  • To encourage Cooperative Group Housing Societies, Employees Organizations, labour housing promotion organization, Non-Government Organizations (NGO) and Community Based Organizations (CBO) to have Partnerships with Urban Local Bodies/Parastatals in relation to housing related micro-finance and housing development.
  • To promote in-situ slum upgradation with partnership between the Central Government, State Government, Urban Local Bodies, Banks/MFIs and potential beneficiaries.

Role of banks and housing finance institutions

  • Reassess their strategies with a view to make them more inclusive in terms of EWS and LIG segments
  • Promote innovative financial instruments like development of Mortgage Backed Securitization Market (MBSM), and Secondary Mortgage Market.
  • Enhance/ strengthen the income spread of housing loans portfolio to increasingly cover BPL and EWS beneficiaries.
  • Adopt a more flexible and innovative approach in relation to credit appraisal norms.
  • Develop financial products which encourage EWS and LIG beneficiaries to take insurance cover.
  • Ploughing part of their resources towards financing slum improvement and upgradation programmes.
  • Devise innovative housing finance schemes for targeting the EWS and LIG segments, with suitable subsidy support from the government.
  • Promote MFIs and SHGs for mobilizing savings and playing a significant role in housing finance sector.

Initiatives by the State Governments – Role of NHB

Under the NUHHP-2007 the State Governments are also expected to formulate and implement their respective State Housing Polices. Having actively contributed in formulation of NUHHP-2007, NHB approached all the State Governments and offered help in formulation of their respective State Housing Polices. In this regard CMD had addressed letters to the Chief Secretaries of all the State Governments.

In consultation with NHB, Housing Policy for the States of Kerala & Rajasthan have been prepared and finalized. State Housing Policy for Punjab has been submitted for final approval to the State after consultation with NHB.

Outlines of Housing and Habitat Policies of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been submitted for preparing the final policy with special emphasis on EWS/LIG segments.

It is also learnt that the Karnataka Housing Board will submit a comprehensive housing policy for the State shortly and that the Board will provide the residential sites and housed to the poor and middle-class people across the State, with focus on villages. Accordingly, the State Government is being approached with an offer of assistance in formulation of the State Housing Policy, along with broad outlines of the Housing policy and a concomitant implementation plan. 

Furthermore, in accordance with role envisaged for banks and housing finance institutions under the NUHHP-2007, and also earlier Housing Policies, the role and involvement of NHB in this regard is discussed as under:

Development of Secondary Mortgage Market

The housing sector has been historically capital deficient which has resulted in housing shortage. The Government of India has accorded considerable importance to the development of secondary residential mortgage market in the country in order to enhance the flow of funds into the housing sector, increase the number of housing stock and thereby facilitate affordable home loans to the population. The National Housing and Habitat Policy of Government of India have envisaged a lead role for National Housing Bank to promote and develop the process. The Government of India amended the National Housing Bank Act, 1987 and had incorporated enabling provisions for undertaking the Residential Mortgage Backed Securitization (RMBS) activities. RMBS enabled flow of funds from the capital market into the housing sector, thus enabling greater access and affordability to the borrowers of housing loans.

Stamp duty is a crucial issue for RMBS transactions. The stamp duty rates ranges from 0.1 to 14 per cent in different States in the country. Presently, the process of securitization is limited to only a few States (Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal etc.) which have rationalized their stamp duty structure (0.1% ad valorem, with a cap of Rs. 1.00 Lakh) It is proposed to take up the matter with the Thirteen Finance Commission so as to consider the issued in the context of devolution revenues to the States. 

NHB’s Policy for Financing Slum Upgradation:

The Bank, with its focus on the unserved and underserved segments of the society, is targeting providing financial support for slum redevelopment / rehabilitation / upgradation projects.

Bank’s Project Finance Policy, project finance assistance can be extended for such projects to public housing agencies like Housing Boards, Development Authorities, Municipal Bodies, State Slum Clearance Boards/Authorities, Public Private Partnership entities, Community Based Organizations such as MFIs/NGOs constituted as Societies/ Trusts/ Section 25 Companies etc. and to private sector agencies. Till now, the Bank has financed only one such project, but efforts are underway to identify other viable projects which could be supported.

The Bank has a fort fold  strategy in this imitative, namely  – first, actively market Project Finance through suitable MFIs/NGOs etc. An exercise in rating non-profit organizations is also being undertaken. Secondly, develop refinance products with approval of the Board. Third, offer financing as top-up to Government schemes such as JNNURM. Fourth, use technical assistance either with Bank’s own funds or from any other national/international agency for capacity building, borrower education etc.

 
  1. Housing Policy
  2. Kerala Housing Policy
  3. Punjab Housing Policy

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