The National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy (NUHHP), 2007 aims to promote sustainable development of habitat in the country with a view to ensure equitable supply of land, shelter and services at affordable prices to all sections of the society. The most vulnerable of these are the urban homeless who live with no shelter or social security / protection. Recent pronouncements of the Supreme Court of India have brought into focus the plight of the urban homeless by holding that the right to dignified shelters is a necessary component of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. There is therefore a need to develop a policy and programme for the urban homeless.
Urban poverty being multi-dimensional, various vulnerabilities faced by the poor in cities and towns: occupational, residential and social need to be addressed simultaneously in a comprehensive and integrated manner with a targeted focus on the vulnerable groups so that a definitive impact can be made on ground. Residential vulnerability issues are being addressed through programmes like JNNURM and RAY. The other two vulnerabilities: occupational and social can be best addressed by creating opportunities for skill development leading to marketbased employment and helping them to set up self-employment ventures. Urban poverty alleviation programmes need to be based on skill development and easy access to credit. It is in this context that a mission-mode approach to urban livelihoods is considered necessary in the form of the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM).
To reduce poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor households by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in an appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots level institutions of the poor. The mission would aim at providing shelter equipped with essential services to the urban homeless in a phased manner. In addition, the Mission would also address livelihood concerns of the urban street vendors by facilitating access to suitable spaces, institutional credit, social security and skills to the urban street vendors for accessing emerging market opportunities.