The Telegraph
Friday , January 22 , 2016

Areida plea for afforable housing

Guwahati, Jan. 21: The Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers Association (Areida) today said all stakeholders in the construction sector must work together to provide affordable housing to low-income groups.

"All stakeholders - the government, builders and manufacturers of construction material - must forego a percentage of profit to reduce the cost of construction so as to realise the objective of affordable housing for economically weaker sections and low income groups," Areida president P. K. Sharma told The Telegraph today.

Affordable housing, based on the Centre's advisory, is equivalent to five times the gross annual household income. A household with an annual income of up to Rs 3 lakh will fall under the economically weaker section segment while that with and annual income between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 6 lakh will fall under the low-income groups.

The association has sent proposals to the Centre and the state government recently with the objective of making housing affordable for low-income groups.

"Taxes for instance contribute about 32 per cent to the cost of construction and it was time the government takes steps to rationalise this component," Sharma said.

Housing for all Indians by 2022 is a pledge made by the Centre to the people of the country.

"The government has categorically stated that it cannot deliver on this pledge on its own, as it does not have the financial resources. It has therefore called upon the private real estate sector to play a significant role. However, with the bulk of the housing needs being in the two segments, the task is by no means easy," he said.

The Areida president said all urban centres be it a city or town, needed a vast army of service providers such as drivers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, barbers, carpenters, and a host of others who find gainful employment in the centres.

"This essential service providing workforce in the Kamrup metro region is estimated to grow to nearly 8 lakh by 2025, for which housing will be a primary need. Also, because of lack of government initiatives, there has been a largescale growth of slums on encroached land and illegal construction leading to degeneration of urban centres to make life miserable for legitimate citizens," he said.

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