Sunday, September 6, 2009

Housing Boards

While its been very encouraging to see private developers enter the urban low income housing space (defined by us as being flats of approx Rs 5-6 lakhs), and we certainly want to partner with these developers, there is no question that in terms of numbers, the state continues to be the largest developer. While housing boards and local development authorities have always built for the EWS / LIG segments, in recent years, due to the govt's inclusion focus and the availabiity of JNNURM finance (for 62 cities), there have been several urban housing programs, which completely eclipse the numbers from the private sector. For eg - the state of Andhra has plans to build over 170,000 homes, Rajasthan over 100,000, cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Lucknow have plans in the tens of thousands. More importantly, the state is driven by social objectives and thus irrespective of economic swings, will remain focussed on this segment. Further, while there will be some leakages, the buyer will be from LIG segments (as against buyers from higher income segments, including investors, being attracted to the private projects meant for LIG segments). Thus, if MHFC has to make impact, it will probably have to come from tie ups with state agencies like MHADA / DDA, state housing boards, municipal corporations, etc who are building for the weaker sections and need to fill the last gap of buyer financing.

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