Need for Higher Floor area Ratio and Population Density Norms for meeting the Housing Shortage: Shri Ajay Maken



Shri Ajay Maken, Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) has stated that the biggest challenge before the policy makers and the industry is to meet the housing shortage of 18.78 million at the beginning of 12th Five Year Plan period as per the report of the Technical Group constituted by the Ministry. Shri Maken said “unless liberal norms with greater Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and population density norms are adopted, we will not able to fulfil this gap.” Shri Ajay Maken was speaking at the inaugural session of ACETECH- 2012, a conference of Architecture, Construction & Engineering consultants here today.

Delineating the strategy to meet the above target of 18.78 million houses in the country, Shri Maken said that his Ministry has already started implementing the strategy to achieve the objectives. Since this shortage exist mostly in affordable housing sector, the Government has announced the establishment of a Credit Risk Guarantee Fund Trust with an initial corps of Rs. 1000 crore for making available Housing loan on easy terms. With this, the people belonging to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)/Low Income Groups (LIG) will get loan up to Rs. 5 Lakh without any third party guarantee or collateral security.

As a part of strategy, the Government has also planned to pump in more money under the second phase of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) through states and municipalities. He said “we are going to put Rs. 45,000 crore and hoped the states will also equally contribute, thereby making available Rs 90,000 crore during 12th Five Year Plan period for construction of houses”.

Shri Maken also underline the need for removal of artificial restrictions/norms on housing and said if not removed/relaxed, will kill housing industry and affect housing needs of poor particularly, not only the rich people. He said “we are going to take it up vigorously with the state governments and municipalities to ease the restrictions on FAR and population density norms. He said “We should not be aforesaid of higher FAR and population density norms. Rather higher FAR and population density norms are environmental friendly, energy efficient and allow people to reside near their work place”. He said that these greater norms are order of the smart city and should be implemented.

Comparing the findings of Census data of 2011 with 2001, Shri Maken said the gap of the total households and total number of the houses has come down from 3 % to 0.5 %. As per the Census 2011, there are 78.87 million households in the country against which there are 78.48 million census houses in the country. Therefore, there is a gap of 0.39 million houses which is 0.5 % of the total houses. Shri Maken said this gap has been reduced because of higher Gross credit deployment allowed by the RBI to the developers and the citizens. In 1997, Gross credit deployment was US Dollars 1.39 billion which was increased to 666.79 billion US Dollars in 2011. This increase of Credit Deployment has led to the construction of large number of houses in the country, Shri Maken added.