FINANCING URBAN HOUSING

January 2, 2017
January 2, 2017 Humair Subhani

While the human race is striving towards a brighter and better tomorrow, continuous efforts are being made to provide shelter to everyone. The idea is not just restricted to an enclosure of walls and ceiling to the homeless but the key note of sustainability and endurance has to be addressed as well. The urban sprawl of cities invited numerous private real estate giants to ignite the process of development on the periphery of the city. All the major cities witnessed this flare and shared their part in development. Due to the rapid growth of cities and flourishing employment opportunities in the private sector, a major shift in the population took place. This encouraged rural and suburban population to migrate in humungous numbers to fill the landmasses in urban areas.
Delhi, National Capital of India, is a soaring reflection of rural-urban spree. An alarming issue while addressing the living conditions of millions of dwellers in the city. Be it the core, the business districts, the commercial hubs or the ever expanding boundaries of this megalopolis, the pressure is inevitably leading towards a total collapse.
The bitter truth is that nearly 30% of Delhi’s urban area is unregistered and holds the maximum proportion of the population. The lower and the middle income groups being the primary/secondary users are either property owners or contractual/agreement based residents.
There is a house to live, but aren’t the amenities (water, sunlight, open avenues, recreational spaces, infrastructure etc) missing?

The monopoly of the private developers created a typology called the urban slums with heavy surface density index, ill-planned settlements and scarce amenities for the masses living there. The population that flocked in had no option but to accept the facilities and the locality due to the commitments and survival. Undeniably, there are examples of built masses which exhibit state of the art facilities and amenities but the affordable limits are trampled.
But did everyone get a house to reside?
Emphasized and prioritized efforts has to be made towards creating affordable housing for everyone. Incorporating the basic amenities (Water, Electricity, appropriate floor space etc.) and liveability in a compact composure is the need of the hour. The population shift is rapid and continuous, so balanced development of suburban and urban areas is necessary for decentralisation of masses. Alongside, the development of rural areas will cease/control the population shift further decentralising the core of metropolitan cities. Entrapment of opportunities and employment in the rural and suburban areas by promoting infrastructure.
Hence, suburbs must become the development centres which will realign the mass mobility while decreasing the load on the core cities. Housing schemes must cater to such primary locations to attract investors and realtors while keeping affordability as the first priority.

REALTORS COME WITH A HEAVY PRICE!
Real estate heavily depends on the finance sector and the capital investment is generated from financing companies and banks. This kicks start the process of construction and the channelling money comes from the aspirants who advance book their spaces. Hence, the rates are tabulated by calculating the debts as well as the profit. Although the rates are way above affordability limits for many people but the company successfully justifies it.
A country where one-third population is living below poverty line, striving to survive daily, cannot even dream of living in an apartment or a condominium. The banking sector as well as specialised financing markets invite investors while launching schemes with lower interest rates and no collateral mortgage.

FINANCING – A KEY TO DEVELOPMENT
The World Bank quotes, “Cities develop the way they are financed”.
This clearly reflects the importance of financing and the reason why housing units and townships must be financed to facilitate the notion of ‘house for everyone’.
The financing sector has become the most booming sector as 6 out of 10 individuals is relying on public funding or finance generation through banks and private companies. The flexibility of the financing sector has increased but still there is great scope of enhancement in regard of economically weaker sections. The financing systems are redundant to the population living in rural areas, Areas where there are no banks. Financing sectors are not yet too user oriented when it comes to dealing with the lower income groups. The masses fathom such schemes and stick to the local financing bodies for investments. Therefore, the government must put in effort to outreach the negated areas and promote the idea of financing and its benefits.

AFFORDABILITY WITH SECURED SUSTAINABILITY
With rigorous efforts of the government, World Bank, Housing Funds and other related authorities, the dream of ‘house for everyone’ seems achievable. The proposals like lower interest rates, descending interest values, no collateral finance etc. are liberalising the financing sector for wider outreach.
But, this strive has more than just an envelope of brick and mortar to it. The idea of sustainability comes into account and holds an equal share. The spatial planning of the site and the layout of individual units interlace homogenously with each other to curate a sustainable and aesthetic output. The line-up of the construction process and the material index of the project has vital roles in the sustainability. The values of re-used & re-cycled materials with conjunction to standard values of specifies materials.

NEED OF THE HOUR – An affordable yet sustainable house for everyone.
Sustainability is not an idea anymore but a need for the present and the future infrastructure development; it is the key towards holistic outputs for the societal welfare and individual benefits. The only aspect to realise and prioritize in the first place, the way forward and a step towards Inclusivity.

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