Institutional provisioning of affordable rental housing in urban India: Past experiences and way forward

Low-income households and migrant households in Indian cities are largely dependent on the informal private rental market to satisfy their housing needs, even though such housing in most cases is of poor quality with little security of tenure. The Government of India’s Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) scheme is an attempt to provide a formal housing solution for low-income households through the route of institutional rental housing. So far, the scheme has had a muted supply side response. This policy series re-visits four institutional multi-family rental schemes located in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Kota to understand the challenges and issues involved with such projects. Insights on financial viability, rental management, beneficiary selection and livability issues affecting these four projects offer important lessons for the ARHCs scheme. The ARHCs scheme have been off to a slow start; for it to gain traction in the future, the sanctioned projects need to be developed and implemented well. This policy series paper may help identify timely, robust and informed policy actions to revitalise the rental sector by providing a roadmap to ensure sustainable outcomes.