MUMBAI, 13 DECEMBER; 2015: For the Indian housing sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative, ‘Housing For All by 2022’ is a positive step. “But just ‘Housing for All’ isn’t the complete story,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, Managing Director, Hiranandani Communities and Founder – First President (Maharashtra), National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).
India faces a housing shortage of approximately 20 million units. “Out of this huge shortage, more than two-thirds of the shortfall is from home seekers belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) and low income group (LIG) categories, especially in urban India,” explained Niranjan Hiranandani. “To ensure that homes become a reality for this segment, there is a need to also start working on rental housing, which seems to be a viable option, and not focus only on ‘ownership’ housing,” he added.
Last week, M Venkaiah Naidu, the Hon’ble Minister for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India, made a statement supporting the promotion of rental housing stock in the country. The Minister made the remark while speaking at a National Consultation on Draft National Rental Housing Policy, 2015. “This is a welcome move on part of the Hon’ble Minister,’ said Niranjan Hiranandani.
Speaking at a National Consultation on Draft National Rental Housing Policy, 2015, the Hon’ble Minister said that ‘rental housing is more inclusive than ownership of homes’, which has been the focus of housing interventions by different governments. “I totally am ‘in sync’ with the Hon’ble Minister on this aspect,” said Niranjan Hiranandani.
At the moment, rental housing in the country accounts for only 11 per cent of total housing stock, said Niranjan Hiranandani, adding that rental housing offers not just a huge investment opportunity at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’, it also will ensure that India meets the rising demand for houses by creating housing stock under ‘alternative housing options’, as opposed to just ‘ownership’ housing.
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. “This will encourage rental housing, which is a key component of the flagship scheme, ‘Housing for All by 2022’. This move will unlock a huge amount of rental stock into the market, as property owners will get encouraged to rent houses,” said Niranjan Hiranandani.
“While Landlords need not fear tenants over-staying, and tenants on the other hand will not have reason to worry about eviction – effectively, interests of both will be safeguarded – the bigger story is the number of homes that will be available for rented accommodation,” said Niranjan Hiranandani. “If ‘Housing For All’ is a positive step, the Model Tenancy Bill, 2015 and National Rental Housing Policy, 2015 have the potential to match its positive by creating a huge stock of residential housing in India,” he said.
“Housing for All implies a roof over one’s head, and whether it is owned or rented should not make a major difference,” he concluded.