The Union Rural Development Ministry has recently launched an ambitious projection aimed at addressing India’s growing rural housing challenges. This report is part of the Ministry’s long-term plan for housing and emphasises the urgent need for collaborative efforts between the government, housing associations, and local communities. Highlighting key issues such as affordability, sustainability, and community development, the Ministry’s initiative seeks to create a more inclusive and sustainable housing landscape. The housing policy aims to provide the security of a social home for millions of people, addressing the issues in the private rented sector where high housing costs reduce the standard of living. Implementing the rural housing scheme of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin by providing assistance for construction of one crore houses in rural areas over three years from 2016-19 had laid a foundation for rural housing. However, the Rural Development Ministry in its latest roadmap has envisaged to raise awareness of the existence of rural homelessness. Developing and advocating for solutions to tackle rural homelessness as well as encourage the adoption of best practices of housing in rural communities remains the key, the Ministry roadmap has stated.
A focus on ensuring a warm and decent home for over 30 million more families has been highlighted by the Rural Development Ministry, aiming to improve the safety, quality, and energy efficiency of homes. As per the Ministry vision document, meeting the additional financial requirement of Rs 21,975 crore by borrowing through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to be amortised through budgetary allocations after 2022 is a key factor to leverage. The role of National Technical Support Agency at the national level to provide technical support in achieving the target set under the project is also a key growth driver for rural housing, the vision document adds.
Unaffordable and inadequate housing is holding back the economy, affecting businesses and workers, especially in rural areas where housing quality and affordability are barriers. The ambitious housing for all plan includes inspection and uploading of geo-referenced photographs to be done though a mobile app. In order to address the potential shortage of masons training for masons will be undertaken as an ongoing process, the Ministry said. To meet the additional requirement of building materials, manufacture of bricks using cement stabilized earth or fly ash will be taken up under government schemes. Support will be provided at district and block levels for technical facilitation and addressing quality issues in house construction.
Opinion: The initiative taken by the Union Rural Development Ministry is commendable as it focuses on addressing the pressing issues of rural housing. By emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts and sustainable housing practices, the Ministry’s initiative seeks to create a more inclusive and sustainable housing landscape. This proactive approach to rural housing challenges showcases the government’s commitment to improving the living conditions of millions of people in rural areas. With the focus on affordability, sustainability, and community development, it is evident that the Ministry’s long-term plan for housing encompasses comprehensive solutions that can have a lasting impact on rural communities.