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Govt working on the scheme to help middle class purchase homes: Housing Secy

A day after the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget 2024 speech that the government will launch a housing scheme for the middle class to buy or build their own houses, a top official of the ministry of housing and urban affairs said that the government is ‘working on the scheme’.

The government is “working on a scheme” to help middle-class people purchase or construct their own houses, said housing and urban affairs secretary Manoj Joshi on February 2 at the NAREDCO’s National Convention.

The government is “working on a scheme” to help middle-class people purchase or construct their own houses, said housing and urban affairs secretary Manoj Joshi on February 2 at the NAREDCO’s National Convention. He also said that the real estate sector has a critical role in the country becoming a $30 trillion economy by 2047.

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Also Read: Real Estate Budget 2024: Focus on infrastructure, new housing scheme for the middle class

Joshi said there is a need to promote affordable housing and said, “We need different ways to cross-subsidize affordable housing”.

“We have a shortage of affordable housing and the government’s priority is to work with the states and the urban local authorities so that the urban planning process generates enough affordable housing. The entire urban planning process should make developers provide at least 15 percent or more houses for the affordable segment,” he said.

He said that the government had provided for 20,000 crore in the current financial year to the states as special central assistance to execute urban reforms such as adopting town planning scheme, hiring urban planners and changing building bylaws in such a way the cost of providing affordable housing would go down.

Also Read: Budget 2024: Real estate sector’s wish list includes changes in definition of affordable housing

In big towns, the cost of land and construction is high. To reduce the cost of affordable housing, the state governments have to work towards urban planning reforms, he said.

If a builder is developing 100 acres, 15 acres can be set aside for affordable housing and similarly higher FSI should be provided at less cost. Zoning regulations and building norms should also be relaxed to ensure that affordable housing receives a boost, he told reporters on the sidelines of the two-day Naredco Conference being held in the Capital.

He also invited Naredco to provide suggestions on how to increase affordable housing stock.

“We are also looking at improving transportation by providing for electric buses,” he added.

Speaking at the Naredco conference, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore asked the real estate sector and construction firms not to underquote prices during the tendering process for housing and affordable housing projects. He also said that the focus of housing should be on quality as well as sustainability.

He urged NAREDCO to ensure that housing projects, especially affordable ones, are completed without delays.

Naredco asked the government to focus on the rental housing policy as well as National and State Master Plans. Chairman Naredco, Niranjan Hiranandani said that in developed countries such as the USA, almost half of the population lives in rental housing.

G Hari Babu, National President of NAREDCO added that since the government cannot give free housing to all, instead rented apartments can be made affordable

A Naredco KPMG Report titled ‘Navigating the dynamics of real estate in India – Smart, sustainable and connected’ was also launched at the 16th Naredco National Convention 2024.

In recent years, India’s real estate sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience, poised for a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7% from 2020 to 2030. The trajectory, moving from $180 billion in 2020 to a projected market size of $1 trillion by 2030, is fueled by government initiatives, technological integration, sustainability measures and increased investments, it said.

It noted that institutional investments have registered a 37% year-on-year increase in the first quarter of 2023. Proptech start-ups secured a substantial $2.4 billion in investments between January 2021 and March 2023.

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