National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy 2007 tabled in Parliament; focus on affordable housing for urban poor news
07 December 2007

The National Urban Housing & Habitat Policy 2007 seeks to promote various types of public-private partnerships for realising the goal of affordable housing for all with special emphasis on the urban poor. This was stated by Kumari Selja the minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation, while briefing media persons, after tabling the policy in both houses of the Parliament here today.

The minister said that the new policy has been formulated keeping in view   the   changing   socio-economic parameters  of the urban area and growing requirement of shelter and   related  infrastructure .

Elaborating on the policy Kumari Selja further said that this policy intended to promote sustainable development of habitat  in the country with a view to ensuring equitable supply of  land,  shelter   and  services at affordable  prices  to  all sections   of  society.  

Given the magnitude  of  the  housing shortage and budgetary constraints of both the Central and State Governments, the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy, 2007 focuses the  spotlight  on multiple stake-holders  including the private  sector,  the cooperative sector, the industrial  sector for   labour  housing and the services/ institutional sector  for employee  housing.

In this manner, the Policy will seek to promote   various types of   public-private  partnerships for realising the goal of "affordable housing for all," she emphasised.

Detailing the procedure followed for formulating the new policy she said that the formulation of the National Housing Policy was an ongoing process which started in 1986. The policy was last revised in 1998 and since then there had been major changes in habitat and human settlement issues. Particularly, the urban housing sector has been facing emerging challenges with regard to availability of affordable shelter, growth of slums, and gaps in provision of basic services to the urban poor.

Urban housing shortage has been estimated at about 24.7 million units at the end of the 10th Five Year Plan (2006-07). 99 per cent of the shortage pertains to economically weaker sections (EWS) and low income groups (LIG) categories. The minister said that all these aspects were considered in a conference of housing ministers'''' of state and union territories in November 2004 where it was decided to update the policy with emphasis on urban housing and improved habitat.

A task force was constituted in January 2005 and a National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy was drafted. This was circulated amongst various stake holders. Based on wide ranging inputs received, the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy, 2007 had been finalised and laid in Parliament today.

The salient features of the National Urban Housing & Habitat Policy, 2007 are:

  • Focus of the Policy is on affordable urban housing with special emphasis on the urban poor
  • Role of Housing and provision of basic services to the urban poor has been integrated into the objectives of the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)
  • Special emphasis has been laid on scheduled castes / tribes / backward classes / minorities, empowerment of women within the ambit of the urban poor 
  • The policy focuses on a symbiotic development of rural and urban areas in line with the objectives of the 74th Constitution Amendment Act
  • Within the overarching goal of "Affordable Housing for All," emphasis has been laid on urban planning, increase supply of land, use of spatial incentives like additional Floor Area Ratio (FAR), Transferable Development Rights, etc., increased flow of funds, healthy environment, effective solid waste management and use of renewal sources of energy 
  • Encouraging integrated townships and special economic zones 
  • Between 10 per cent and15 per cent of land in every new public / private housing projects or 20 per cent to 25 per cent FAR whichever is greater to be reserved for EWS/LIG Housing through appropriate spatial incentives
  • Private Sector to be permitted land assembly within the purview of master plans. action plans for urban slum dwellers and special package for cooperative housing, labour housing and employees housing is to be prepared 
  • States to be advised to develop 10 years perspective plan for housing of economically weaker sections and low income groups 
  • Policy gives primacy to provision of shelter to urban poor at their present location or near their work place 
  • Approach will be in-situ slum rehabilitation. Relocation will be considered only in specific cases 
  • Micro finance institutions to be promoted at state level to expedite flow of finances to urban poor 
  • Model municipal laws to be prepared by the central government 
  • Detailed city maps to be prepared based on GIS, aerial survey and ground verification
  • Use of proven cost effective technology and building materials to be encouraged 
  • Development of mass rapid transit system at sub-regional level envisaged 
  • Green cover for cities to be encouraged for balanced ecological development. 
  • All States to be encouraged to develop a "habitat infrastructure action plan" for all cities with a population of over one lakh. 

The action plan stated in the National Urban Housing & Habitat Policy, 2007:

Encouragement and support to be provided to state governments by the central government for preparation of state urban housing and habitat policy and action plan

State / union territories'' action plans to focus on accelerated flow of funds

State / union territories level policy to provide road map for institutional, legal and financial incentives.

State / union territories'' plans to indicate concrete steps for encouraging a participatory approach

Periodic review of implementation of Policy and Action Plan at State level to be carried out

Preparation of 15-20 years perspective plans in the form of City Development Plans (CDPs) based on spatial planning at the city level

Setting up a high level monitoring committee for periodic review and implementation of the policy and for making amendments, modifications wherever considered necessary.

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National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy 2007 tabled in Parliament; focus on affordable housing for urban poor