Policy Lab on ‘Redefining “Private” to Include Affordable Rental Housing Providers for the Poor: International & National Lessons’

Date and Time

December 16, 2020

4:30 pm to 7:00 pm


Online via Zoom

On behalf of Cities Alliance, GIZ India, the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), Habitat for Humanity, Human Settlement Management Institute (HSMI), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Scaling City Institutions for India (SCI-FI) initiative at the Centre for Policy Research is pleased to invite you to the fourth Policy Lab on:

‘Redefining “Private” to Include Affordable Rental Housing Providers for the Poor: International and National Lessons’

Speakers: Durga Shankar Mishra (TBC), Georg Jahnsen, Aparna Das, Claire Du Trevou, Banashree Banerjee, Vidhee Garg, Leenu Sehgal, Rushil Palavajjhala, Yan F. Zhang, Hong Soo Lee, Pedro Abramo (TBC), Danilo Berlos Tenebro (TBC) and Shivani Chaudhry (TBC)

Moderators: Rebecca Ochong and Aparna Das

The session will be online via Zoom. To register, kindly fill this form.

The session will also be live-streamed on CPR’s Facebook channel.

In case of any issues and for any queries, please email at

Despite about one-third of the urban population opting for rental housing in urban India, it largely remained unaddressed in the policy and legal paradigm prior to the newly launched sub-scheme of Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The ARHC has been primarily conceptualised in recognition of the plight of the migrants and the urban poor as a result of the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the absence of formal rental housing options and an overemphasis on ownership-led housing policies, about 70% of rental housing in India exists without any contractual agreements between the landlord and the tenant. Within this informal rental ecosystem, landlords often provide rental accommodation in informal/quasi-legal urban settlements, especially to the migrants and urban poor. Further, a majority of such rental arrangements exist without access to basic services and subject their residents to overcrowding and extreme squalor conditions.

This is the fourth Lab in the series of Rental Housing Policy Labs and is curated by GIZ India and Habitat for Humanity International. The first Lab of the series discussed the viability of policy and legislative arrangements in stimulating a functioning rental housing market for the urban poor in India. The second and the third Labs discussed the opportunities for public and private sector investments respectively in ARHC-PMAY for the delivery of greenfield housing and reuse of vacant government-funded housing complexes.

The fourth Policy Lab in the series of Rental Housing Policy Labs is being organised to emphasise on rental housing arrangements being operated informally by private entities such as petty landlords or enterprise owners, providing housing for the migrants and the urban poor. The Lab will also draw lessons from Indian and international case studies, and examine four key issues impacting the supply of informal housing stock: i) Policy/Legal framework; ii) Land, secure tenure and infrastructure; iii) Financial viability; and iv) Technology/Design. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion among experts, to deliberate on the current status of rental housing for the urban poor in India, vis-a-vis learnings from the international experience.


Time (pm) Thematic areas Speaker
04:30 – 04:35 OPENING REMARKS Georg Jahnsen, Project Manager, SUD-SC
GIZ India
04:35 – 16:45 RENTAL HOUSING FRAMEWORK IN INDIA Aparna Das, Senior Advisor, SUD-SC, GIZ India
04:45 – 05:05 KEYNOTE ADDRESS Durga Shankar Mishra, IAS (tbc)
Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Govt. of India
05:05 – 06:05

Moderated by Rebecca Ochong, Senior Manager, Habitat for Humanity International

05:05 – 05:20 Backyard rental: Case study from South Africa Claire Du Trevou, Architectural Project Manager, Bitprop, South Africa
05:20 – 05:35 Rental housing for migrant workers in Ludhiana, India Banashree Banerjee, Planning and Housing Expert, India
05:35 – 05:50 Access to finance for the petty landlords: Case studies from Jordan and Colombia Vidhee Garg, Housing and Urban Development Specialist, The Netherlands
05:50 – 06:05 Q&A
Moderated by Rebecca Ochong
06:05 – 06:50

Moderated by Aparna Das

06:05 – 06:50 Panellists:

  • Leenu Sehgal, Commissioner Planning, Delhi Development Authority, India
  • Pedro Abramo, Professor, Universidade Federal Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (tbc)
  • Rushil Palavajjhala, Founder & President, Bandhu Urban Tech, India
  • Yan F. Zhang, Senior Urban Economist, The World Bank
  • Hong Soo Lee, Senior Urban Specialist, Asian Development Bank, Philippines
  • Danilo Berlos Tenebro, The Asia Foundation, Philippines (tbc)
  • Shivani Chaudhry, Executive Director, Housing and Land Rights Network, India (tbc)
Moderated by Aparna Das
06:50 – 07:00 CLOSING REMARKS Shubhagato Dasgupta, Senior Fellow
Centre for Policy Research, India

About the Rental Housing Policy Labs

This is the fourth in a series of the Rental Housing Policy Labs, jointly organised by Cities Alliance, GIZ India, the World Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Human Settlement Management Institute (HSMI), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and Scaling City Institutions for India (SCI-FI) initiative at CPRThe Policy Labs seek to provide a platform for discussing the experiences of the governments, researchers, academicians and practitioners on inclusive and affordable urban housing strategies.

Scaling City Institutions for India (SCI-FI)

The Land, Planning, and Housing (LPH) initiative under the SCI-FI programme aims to deepen the understanding of the interrelated governance and sector specific challenges in the land, housing and, planning in urban areas in India. The SCI-FI: LPH initiative envisages to inform multiple stakeholders, including the three tiers of the government, on demand-driven, sustainable, alternative, and scalable models for delivering and operationalising housing, basic services, and property rights for the urban poor. The SCI-FI programme is nested at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) since 2013.