New Delhi, Sep 22: Estimating a shortage of 18.78 million housing units in the country, a government panel has suggested that it can be eliminated through a slew of measures, including by bringing vacant houses into the housing market through taxation and incentive policies.
“Bring in the vacant houses into the housing market through taxation and incentive policies,” says the report submitted to Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja here today.
“Households that have the problem of congestion must be enabled to create extra space or build extra rooms through support from public agencies, ” the report prepared by a technical group set up by the ministry suggests.
The report proposes that those living in houses built 80 years ago be shifted to new units.
The report recognises that eliminating housing shortage during the period of the 12th Plan(2012-17), over and above maintaining the current rate of construction, will be a challenging task.
To meet this challenge, the report proposes few strategies like “Housing to be made a part of infrastructure sector or declared to be an industry, so that it is possible to incentivise the construction activities to deliver an appropriate mix of dwelling units to meet the needs of the people in housing poverty.” The report says that housing shortage would not be a major problem if there is no mismatch between the people for whom the houses are being built and those who need them.
“The rapid increase in the number of vacant houses, the fierce competition among the private builders and aggressive advertisements to woo the prospective buyers, clearly underline the mismatch, ” the report adds.
Speaking on the occasion,Kumari Selja said to reduce this gap in demand and supply of housing, Centre, State and the real estate sector should work in tandem and build a low cost affordable housing. (UNI)



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