Cabinet nod for development of affordable rental housing complexes for urban migrants, poor

Affordable Rental Housing Complexes is a sub-scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban. The concessionaire will make the complexes livable by repair or retrofit and maintenance of rooms and filling up infrastructure gaps such as water, se...

Cabinet nod for development of Affordable Rental Housing Complexes for urban migrants, poor: Prakash Javadekar
MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: The Union cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to the recently announced scheme to provide budget rental accommodation to poor and migrant workers in urban areas. This is estimated to benefit more than 350,000 people.

As per the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) scheme – a sub-scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) – existing vacant government-funded housing complexes across key cities will be converted into ARHCs, and offered to concessionaires for 25 years to rent out the units to urban poor and migrant workers. State and civic bodies will select concessionaire through bidding, according to guidelines issued by the housing and urban development ministry.

The government will also offer special incentives to private and public entities to develop such housing complexes on their own available vacant land for 25 years under the scheme.

These incentives include use permission, 50% additional floor space index (FSI), concessional loans at priority sector lending rate and tax reliefs at par with affordable housing, the ministry said in a statement.

Concession agreement for ARHCs will include undertaking repair, retrofits, maintenance of rooms, and fixing water, sewer and sanitation problems.

The government has kept aside Rs 600 crore in the form of technology innovation grant that would to be released for projects using innovative technologies for construction under the scheme.

Developers said the scheme will not only help in providing affordable housing to migrants but also lead to optimum use of government funded vacant houses.

“Investment under ARHCs has potential to create new job opportunities,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, National President of developers’ body Naredco. “The scheme creates an environment conducive for developing AHRCs on their own vacant land, which will create new investment opportunities and promote entrepreneurship in the rental housing sector.”

They also expect the scheme to help resolve the issue of project delays caused by labourers’ shortage.

“Once the rental housing facility for migrant labourers is created, the projects will not get delayed as there will be no shortage of labourers,” said RK Arora, chairman of real estate firm Supertech. “For developers also, it’s a business opportunity as they can exploit benefits on additional FAR and financing.”

The target beneficiary under this scheme will be workforce in manufacturing, service providers in hospitality, health, domestic and commercial establishments, labourers and students who migrate from rural areas or small towns to cities.

The complexes will be returned to government bodies after 25 years to restart the next cycle or to be run on their own.
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