By Accommodation Times News Services
Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation M.Venkaiah Naidu came out strongly in support of promoting rental housing stock in the country, saying “it is more inclusive than ownership housing which has been the focus of housing interventions by the governments”.
While speaking at a National Consultation on Draft National Rental Housing Policy, 2015, Naidu said “rental housing offers huge investment opportunity at the bottom of the pyramid given the rising demand for alternative housing option to ownership housing on account of mounting migration”. Calling it a paradox, the Minister noted that while there is a housing shortage of about 190 lakh units in urban areas of the country, about 110 lakh houses are lying vacant.
Further elaborating, Naidu said that rent control laws, low rental yields, poor maintenance, low quality of construction, fear of losing control and emphasis on ownership housing are adversely impacting investments in and availability of rental housing stock in the country.
The Minister noted that rental housing in the country accounts only for 11% of total housing stock while it is at a high of 35% in the Netherlands, 31% in Hongkong, 23% in Austria and 20% in the United Kingdom.
Naidu said that the Draft National Rental Housing Policy, 2015 seeks to enable a vibrant and formal Rental Housing sector by adopting regulatory and legal reforms, enhancing fund flows, promoting institutions for constructing, managing, maintenance and creation of rental housing stock, along with necessary incentives.
Naidu voiced serious concern over 2.37 lakhs built for urban poor under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) still lying unoccupied and said ‘’not ensuring necessary infrastructure and habitat conditions causing such a situation is a crime” and should not be repeated under new housing initiatives.