Cushman & Wakefield, global real estate consulting, says that the government’s aspiration for housing for all by 2022 can be achieved through a holistic approach involving Regional Planning, Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Public Private Community Partnership (PPCP). The report also stresses on Financial Inclusion of both buyers of all categories as well as developers to ensure adequate benefit for both. In a report released in conjunction with PHD Chamber of Commerce. Cushman & Wakefield stresses on the fact that, unlike popular belief, the task of providing over 6 crore homes across urban and rural areas can be profitable for all stakeholders of real estate in India. The core need is to have multiple approaches to create various synergies in order to create the required habitat.
Sanjay Dutt, Executive Managing Director, South Asia, Cushman &Wakefield, said “The goal of housing for all by 2022 can be realized only if there is an implementable strategy that has both scalability and accountability built into the system. Additionally we have identified ‘Financial inclusion’ and security as a key to ensuring housing. Since it involves enormous funds, mobilizing additional resources such as technology, expertise, labor etc., private sector can add value through its expertise in delivering quality and fast projects. There is tremendous scope for various collaborative efforts and both public & private players must explore this.”
The report identifies the below as key for combatting housing especially in urban areas:
Regional Approach - Cushman & Wakefield recommends that all long – term development programme should have smaller five year targets that are achievable at regional level which is aligned to the overall vision. This will ensure key aspects like infrastructure development, appropriate land use and sustainability are taken care of.
Enhanced Governance - Cushman & Wakefield recommends that the government should large-scale initiative to strengthen governance and suggests steps to integrate information and communications technology (ICT) into all government departments and process. This would simplify procedures, increase accessibility and accountability of services and ease monitoring and accountability.
Financial inclusion - Low access to credit facilities is a huge hindrance to consumers in for EWS and LIG households. It is essential to bridge the gap between affordability and the purchase points. Accessibility to financial institutions needs to be addressed at a larger scale. Banking sector needs to be seen as a potential active partner to generate the desired housing solution.
Community Participation - Housing requires all players to be actively engaged, while there is ample debate on encouraging PPP, there is little discussion on incorporating the end-users as active participants of the process. This would mean that the end-users not only participate in the conversation to bring about a change in their living conditions, but they can be actively engaged in building the projects.
Integrating a PPCP Model (Public Private Community Partnership) essentially includes the community as a key participant in the project/ program, in order to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development, with the simultaneous involvement of both the government and the private sector. Each stakeholder identifies specific role at different stages of the program. Typically the public sector takes up the role of a facilitator, sets standards and guidelines, the private sector contributes its technical expertise and builds the capacity of the team. The funding is usually spilt between the public and private sector, while the community takes the lead in the project for operation & maintenance (O&M) and sustained operation of the program. This model can be adopted for all schemes/ policies or strategies that are employed for creating a housing stock.
Sanjay Dutt further continued, “Monitoring and evaluation of every initiative need to be instilled stringently. This would help address current problems and obstacles, which can be used to scale successful projects across the country. The subsidies and incentives have to be aligned with larger plans such as creation of new cities through smart cities, or industrial corridors instead of independent strategies to address housing shortage.”
Over the last few decades, due to massive urbanization, increasing income levels and changing demographics, urban population has increased almost twice the annual national population growth rate. In order to accommodate this growing future population, there is a huge pressure on transportation, housing, land, and other urban services as well. According to Cushman & Wakefield Research, India is likely to witness urban housing demand of nearly 13 million units by the end of 2018. Of this, about 19% demand is expected to arise from the top eight cities in India, with Lower Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG) segments likely to account for the major chunk (about 80%) of the total demand. While a supply shortage is anticipated among all income groups, LIG housing is expected to bear the brunt with the highest mismatch in demand-supply.
Creating a housing stock along with developing accessibility to urban services and urban infrastructure is required for housing development to be a sustainable option in India. However, given the constraints such as limited availability of land, lack of private sector’s participation in providing housing for LIG, inaccessibility to financial institutions, rigid regulatory frameworks etc., a clear roadmap to implement the strategies has become the need of the hour.