Over the past 70 years, Tamil Nadu has been at the forefront in terms of socio-economic progress, and continues to occupy a special place in the history of the Indian subcontinent. Given the odds it faced in the beginning, Tamil Nadu has proven to be one of the most progressive states in India. Striking a fine balance between social and economic reckoning was indeed one of the most difficult tasks for this southern state during early years of state formation.
Tamil Nadu’s socio-economic growth and development were shaped largely by circumstances confronting the region. A number of policies were initiated to facilitate the diversification of welfare systems namely, the mid-day meal scheme, Anna Marumalarchi Thittam that provides statutory services, the Ayyan Thiruvalluvar Noolagam and Padippagam programs mainly focused on state level Millennium Development Goals(MDGs).
The need for affordable housing in Tamil Nadu
Going by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Development report, Tamil Nadu accounts for 15 per cent of the housing shortage in India at nearly 19 million units (as per 2012 figures). 95 per cent of this shortage pertains to the ‘Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)’ and Lower Income Groups (LIG).
Chennai has over 304,980 households spread across 1,131 slums, with the majority living in poor (semi-pucca or kutcha) housing. This information, thanks to the survey done by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) in 2013, tells that the metro has over one million slum dwellers spread across 1,000 slums, which accounts for the bulk of the EWS of the city.
PMAY: Affordable housing made accessible
The honourable Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Scheme (PMAY) on 1st June 2015. The scheme aims to provide affordable housing facilities to EWS, LIG and MIG (Middle Income Groups) within the state. It comprises of two components, which are –
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urbana aims to provide affordable housing to individuals living in urban areas, including slum dwellers. The PMAY Urban scheme aims to create about 20 million affordable homes by the year 2022. The scheme is already applicable and has begun with development in the numerous cities of Tamil Nadu like Vellore, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur etc.
The second one is Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Rural under which the Government has envisaged to create about 4 crore houses for individuals in the rural area by the year 2022. The cost of constructing the house would be shared by the Central and State Government in the ratio of 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 in hilly areas.
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana aims at:
• Rehabilitation of those who live in slums. This rehabilitation would be done using land as a resource and with participation from private builders and financial institutions
• To provide a credit-linked subsidy scheme to individuals who borrow loans for buying affordable housing.
• To provide individuals with affordable housing facilities.
• Provide accessible homes to economically weaker sections of the society, women, minority communities, and senior citizens.
Affordable housing in Tamil Nadu: Available sooner than you may think?
The salient features of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme are such that affordable housing for all will be a reality sooner than we may think.
The scheme allows affordable housing finance to specific categories of individuals which include Economically Weaker Sections, Low Income Groups and Middle Income Groups. Also, subsidized interest rate is allowed on home loans taken for buying or constructing house property under the affordable housing scheme, and almost all Indian banks and non-banking financial companies offer home loans under this scheme.
The objective of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is on point, and the movement that we are seeing on this front is in line with it. If one was to take an optimistic view of it, this is a scheme that has not only been put to action but one that is also seeing progress in a promising way.