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Developers welcome state govt's affordable housing policy
Source: Business Standard Jan 20, 2014
Developers welcome state govt's affordable housing policy

Business standard

Even as the state government brought out details of the new affordable housing policy, the local developers and experts welcomed the move highlighting the growing demand for the same.

Developers and experts are of the view that the affordable housing segment, especially within the sub Rs 10 lakh price category is witnessing a rising demand among the economically weaker section (EWS) and lower income group (LIG), while the sub Rs 20 lakh category is attracting the middle income group (MIG).

Bringing out details of the policy recently, the state government stated that there was a need for at least 2.2 million new houses in the next 4-5 years.

What's more, in a bid to ensure speedy construction of new units, the state government has gone in for a public private partnership (PPP) model for affordable housing, wherein private developers are also allowed to construct houses for EWS, LIG and MIG sections on government land.

"It has been some since developers in Ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat have been vying for a pie in the affordable housing segment which is witnessing the highest growth across sections in real estate. At such a time, the policy will only push supplies from both the government and private developers' side. It only needs to be seen how soon the supply meets the demand," said Vijay Shah, a city-based developer in Ahmedabad.

The affordable housing segment in Ahmedabad has already seen organised real estate players like Tata Housing, Adani Township & Real Estate and Arvind Real Estate, announcing low cost housing schemes for low and middle income groups, in the sub Rs 10 lakh, sub Rs 20 lakh and sub Rs 30 lakh categories. It needs to be mentioned here that among private developers, DBS Affordable Home Strategy Limited is also looking at providing 25,000 affordable homes at a project cost of Rs 2,000 crore in 14 different parts of Ahmedabad.

As part of the policy, the state government intends to make available affordable houses in the price range of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 25 lakh for people with an annual income ranging between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. While people below Rs 1 lakh have been identified as part of EWS, those in the Rs 1-2.5 lakh range come under LIG and Rs 2.5-5 lakh come under MIG.

However, some developers believe the policy should have come much before the one brought out by the Rajasthan government over an year ago.

"The policy has been delayed too much. It will get some movement, especially among private developers but not a massive one. There are also areas where the state government can improve. Also, the state government wants to supply too much to EWS and LIG and seems to cash in on the election time," said Rajesh Vaswani, executive director, Venus Infrastructure & Developers Ltd.
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