24 states, UTs join scheme on affordable rental housing

Affordable Rental Housing Scheme

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Affordable Rental Housing
Affordable Rental Housing

In News: 

  • 24 states and UTs have come on board to implement the scheme for Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs), aimed at providing affordable rental accommodation to the working class in cities and towns.

News Summary:

  • 24 states and UTs have come on board to implement the scheme for Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs).
  • The union housing and urban affairs ministry has launched a portal for implementation and getting updated progress of the scheme.
  • Municipal bodies can float Expression of Interest from private players who are keen to maintain and manage the vacant housing complexes built with the government and rent them out at a rate to be fixed by the respective authorities.
  • The union housing minister said that the implementation of the scheme has been accelerated due to the covid-19 crisis.
  • The centre is working to get the remaining states/UTs on board.

Other news – Angikaar report released:
  • The union housing and urban affairs ministry has also launched a national report on ANGIKAAR – a campaign for change management for PMAY (U) beneficiaries through a 3 C strategy- Community Engagement, Convergence and Communication.
  • The report is a recollection of various activities under the campaign.

About: Angikaar

  • Angikaar was launched in August 2019 for social behaviour change of beneficiaries of completed houses under PMAY (U, to facilitate acclimatization of beneficiaries to the new environment.
  • It focuses on issues such as water & energy conservation, waste management, health, tree plantation, sanitation and hygiene, through community mobilisation and IEC (information, education and communication) activities.
  • For this purpose, the campaign will converge with schemes and Missions of other Ministries dealing with these subjects. The convergence would especially focus on Ujjwala for gas connection and Ayushman Bharat for health insurance to the beneficiaries of PMAY (U).
  • Around 18,500 Angikaar Resource Persons were trained by specialists of City Level Technical Cell (CLTC) for this purpose.

About: Affordable Rental Housing Complexes

  • The Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) scheme has been launched under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • Thus, it is a sub-scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with an estimated expenditure of around Rs 600 crore.
    • PMAY-U is a housing scheme introduced by the Indian Government in 2015,with the aim to provide affordable housing to the urban poor by 2022.
  • It was approved by the Cabinet in July 2020.
  • The scheme aims to cover nearly 3 lakh beneficiaries initially.
Rationale of the Scheme:
  • Urban migrants stay in slums/ informal settlements/ unauthorised colonies/ peri-urban areas to save cost on housing. They need decent rental housing at affordable rate at their work sites.
  • The scheme will provide ease of living to urban migrants/ poor in industrial sector as well as in non-formal urban economy. Beneficiaries for ARHCs will mainly be urban migrants/ poor from EWS/ LIG categories.
  • Overall, the scheme will look to provide dignified and affordable living spaces to varied groups of urban migrants and poor including:
    • Industrial & construction workers
    • Migrants working with market associations, educational and health institutions, hospitality sector
    • Students
    • Long term tourists or visitors 

The ARHC scheme will have a two-pronged approach:

  • Using Exiting Housing Stock (JnNURM/RAY) as ARHCs:
    • Existing vacant government funded housing complexes will be converted into ARHCs through a concession agreement for 25 years.
    • According to internal ministry data, there are 1.2 lakh such government houses available built under the erstwhile schemes, including Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) and housing schemes of the state governments.
    • Of these Maharashtra has the maximum number of accommodations available at 35,000 and Delhi 30,000 houses.
  • Incentivising Private/ Public Agencies for construction of ARHCs:
    • Under this model, ARHCs will be constructed, operated and maintained by Public or Private Entities on their own available vacant land for a period of 25 years.
    • Special incentives like use permission, 50% additional Floor Area Ratio (FAR) or Floor Space Index (FSI), concessional loan at priority sector lending rates, tax reliefs etc. will be offered to these entities for developing affordable housing facilities to migrants/ poor.
Expected Benefits:
  • It will provide dignified and affordable living spaces for urban migrants/ poor in need.
  • ARHCs will create a new ecosystem in urban areas making housing available at affordable rent close to places of work and will cut down unnecessary travel, congestion and pollution.
  • The investment under ARHCs is expected to create new job opportunities.
  • The scheme will also help real estate developers retain labour forces on their sites.

Also Read: Cabinet nod for World Bank aided STARS project, National Assessment centre

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