A roof over one's head is a dream that every human being aspires for. While the rich and famous create palatial abodes for themselves, the poor man tries to build himself and his family a shelter be it only a plastic tent.
Housing, at one time was never an issue in the Indian context. The joint family system meant that there was one house for the entire family and all the family members lived in the family home. The trend of migration to cities for jobs first raised the issue of a house for a family. The advent of the nuclear family system further exacerbated the situation with parents and children living away from each other. Rising concentration of people in urban areas also resulted in an increase in the number of people living in slums and squatter settlements.
Affordable housing has, thus, become one of the biggest challenges of the present times. Planning for a home has become imperative for the younger generation today who are often forced to begin their career with the quest for a permanent home for themselves. Skyrocketing prices of land and real estate in urban areas have made houses unaffordable. Ever rising rents, fleecing builders, unapproved land use, sub standard building material etc have all widened the gap between supply and demand.
It is in such situations that the Government regulations play an important role. While the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill ensured proper and justified use of the land for various purposes, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act was introduced by the government to protect interests of home buyers. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Housing for All Urban has been introduced to solve the housing problem of the Indian middle, lower middle class and below poverty level class of its citizens. PMAY-G aims at providing a pucca house, with basic amenities, to all households living in kutcha and dilapidated houses, by 2022. On the financing front, while National Housing Bank regulates housing finance companies, RBI regulates commercial banks and partially cooperative banks. The Credit linked subsidy schemes have facilitated financing of houses even for those who could otherwise not afford them.
Infrastructure is another important dimension of housing. Adequate infrastructure facilities like roads, metro trains, schools, hospitals, shopping areas and children's play areas are a must for making “Housing for all by 2022” a success. Smart cities Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) aim to address these issues by promoting cities that provide core infrastructure and give the citizen a clean and sustainable environment and also address issues of improved quality of services.
A stable home is an essential requirement for life and happiness of a family. And, it is the effort of the government to ensure a better abode and thus a better life to the last person.