Images of India : 20 million homes could replace crowded slums…

20 million homes could replace crowded slums

The slum population has increased from 52.3 million in 2001 to 65.5 million. About 170 million Indians who live in urban slums could get affordable homes by 2022. If done right, the plan could boost economic growth. The government seeks to build 20 million homes over the next seven years in the world’s largest housing program. That should be enough to cover a shortage that forces families to live in overcrowded structures and slums. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is looking to ease rules that limit the amount of floor space in slum areas, allowing for higher and wider buildings. It will also look to reduce the number of municipal clearances needed for construction. Surging property prices in cities have pushed more people into slums as Indians in rural areas move to urban centers to find work. The average Indian would need to work for three centuries to pay for a luxury home in Mumbai, a city where 40% of the population lives in overcrowded slums. India’s poorest households, where each member spends less than $2.97 per day, account for 84 percent of the country’s 1.2 billion people, World Bank data shows. A rupee spent on building a house adds as much as 2.84 rupees to gross domestic product, according to a 2014 report for the Housing Ministry. Every 100,000 rupees invested would create about four jobs, and each home increases the entire household’s income, which in turn boosts demand.