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Shelter: Vol 17 Shelter: Vol 17

Affordable Housing

“Affordability” is a relative term which means different things to different people. In the context of housing, affordability means the financial capacity of an individual to buy or rent a house. In 2008, the High Level Task Force on Affordable Housing for All, setup by the Government of India, defined affordability as a measure of household gross annual income and the size of a housing unit. It recommended that for economically weaker section and low income groups, the suggested affordability is cost not exceeding four times of the household gross annual income and EMI/ rent not exceeding 30% of the household’s gross monthly income for a unit with carpet area not exceeding 300 and 600 sq.ft. For middle income category of houses, the cost was recommended as five times the household gross annual income and EMI/ rent not exceeding 40%, for a prescribed carpet area not exceeding 1200 sq.ft. This definition was revised in 2012 and again when guidelines for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) were launched in 2015. While ensuring the affordability of housing solutions is a prime concern, reaching the houses to the correct target group is equally imperative.