Recognising the inadequacies in the state of housing in India, the national agenda of housing for all has emerged as one of the top priorities of the government. Despite the launch of numerous schemes to improve the housing conditions of economically weaker sections (EWS) and low-income groups (LIG), approximately 95 percent of the housing shortage of 18.8 million units prevails among the EWS and LIG categories as of 2012. To address the housing requirements of the urban poor, including slum dwellers, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), or the mission of ‘Housing for All by 2022’, was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in 2015.
Among the four verticals of PMAY, Beneficiary Led Individual House Construction (BLC) has emerged as the front runner with about 60 percent of the total PMAY houses sanctioned under this vertical. Along with its ease of implementation resulting from the availability of land rights, this vertical also attained significant traction from the innovative approaches adopted by various state governments to expedite the disbursal of the BLC subsidy. These innovations have enabled the states to facilitate house construction among the urban poor through the provision of land rights, increased subsidies, and financial assistance. To understand the process of BLC implementation and the innovative interventions by states to streamline this process, household surveys were conducted across three states: Odisha, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
Based on the learnings of the process of BLC implementation in the three states, this report outlines key recommendations for the PMAY guideline to enable better integration of the scheme with the local specificities, thereby benefitting the most vulnerable sections. It advocates leveraging of three primary enablers – access to land, holistic city planning, and access to institutional finances – to achieve the national ‘Housing for All’ agenda.