Gautam Bhan: Migrants are not unmarked bodies that only come to housing markets marked by supply and demand. They are part of movements deeply connected with identity that have a specific form. So why don’t we learn from migrants how they built this housing and what we can do to make this process easier, shorter and better. I think it is important that we do not perceive migrants as helpless, invisible, invisible. They are clearly visible and deliberately invisible.
We cannot find a way out of India’s housing shortage. No matter how well-intentioned the government may be, we will never have the potential to develop on the scale we want. The largest volume of affordable housing in Indian cities has been built by the people themselves, always in conflict with law and planning. But the main job is to say: protect, regulate, recognize all the informal, inadequate rental housing that exists in all our cities today. Start protecting and improving this home.
On the jurisdiction and responsibility of the state
Shrayana Bhattacarya: The solution always seems like a blueprint, and it’s the same housing layout. Decentralization should be one of the key principles of housing policy. I would say that it should authorize and authorize local governments, not just at the state level, especially if you look at the examples of Mexico, Brazil or even China, then how many of these problems are not solved through a single -size program. In fact, it creates regulation that gives much more dynamism.
What is holding back the state government
Manikandan: The simple answer to this question is that it is very difficult to solve this problem. In a rental unit, the user who will pay the rent will not be directly involved in the supply process or will not contribute financially to the supply process.
On the understanding that housing is only a city problem
Shrayana: The first principle is highly empowered municipal governments, not the same PMAY scheme that works exactly the same with the same benefit levels. Secondly, in India, the focus is on supply. We are talking about land housing construction. Obviously, this is due to very serious regulatory problems. What the government may need to do with the employer is to provide a cash basket as well as insurance benefits. And the third is just the capacity of the delivery system, not just an audit. If you move, you must have a social safety net that moves with you.
About solutions to a complex problem
Bhide: We need to think about the continuum. I hope that we will be able to create some kind of convenience for women migrants – a very vulnerable contingent, often not recognized at all.
There is a tripartite partnership that can be created between government, agencies and employers. The role of the employer in this is enormous. At the other end of the continuum, we need to focus on how we can reduce housing insecurity, because there are several housing conditions that cannot be tolerated. We need to look at informal housing and start early. The purchase question does not arise – the more you can improve the living conditions in informal settlements, the better the rental conditions will be. Hopefully, this will also contribute to the creation of a base floor, below which the quality of housing will not fall. But if there are such precarious housing conditions, a velvet-glove approach is needed, where the state participates with regulatory policies, but also with assistance policies. Our systems have macro details, but they don’t have micro knowledge about how things work, about what exists.
Keynote speaker: Iqbal Singh Chahal, Commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)
Migrant labor is the backbone of the economy. They play an important role in the development of the country. The Maharashtra government implemented a very ambitious new housing policy back in 2008 when the concept of rental housing was first launched. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has become the hub agency for the entire MMR – eight to nine municipal corporations in and around Mumbai, including MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai), which is home to nearly 2.5 million people and over a million migrants. And this rental housing will be provided to migrant workers at a nominal monthly rent. Many developers have come forward.
So, right now, 42 thousand apartment buildings are under construction, which can accommodate more than a million people. The 42,000 sanctioned apartment buildings include major real estate players such as Tata, Dosti Group, Symphony and Adhiraj. Anyone who comes to Mumbai, instead of illegally staying in the slums, can be provided with this rented accommodation until they get a suitable place. We then came up with a very ambitious booking policy, whereby we will build a significant number of rental properties in the next five years. This is what can help migrant workers. I am sure this idea can be replicated in many large cities in India, where local municipal authorities do not lay out anything at all, except for the cost of building this building.