While addressing a press conference on May 14, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government is implementing an Affordable Rental Housing Complex (ARHC) scheme for migrant workers or urban poor people to make living convenient at an affordable rent.
Government New Scheme Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
Amid the outbreak of coronavirus, migrant workers faced challenges in getting houses at reasonable rent. The scheme will be launched under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) by a transformation of government-funded housing in the cities into Affordable Rental Housing Complexes under PPP (public-private partnership) mode through the concessionaire. This move will help migrant workers, and urban poor people live in cities by paying reasonable rents at these complexes of government.
The government-funded housing in cities would provide the much-needed drive to the revival of the real estate sector and other related industries. The affordable rental scheme is a key step towards resolving the problem of the housing of migrant labour, urban poor, and students, etc. And will provide them access to quality accommodation and security to encourage these workers not to return to their native places in a crisis like COVID-19.
There will also be tax concessions for industries, manufacturing units, and institutions to develop the AHRC scheme on their unused land. The announcement that rental housing projects will be constructed through public-private partnerships would increase demand for raw materials, create employment, and thus offer a boost to affordable housing. The sitharaman announcement overall would certainly relieve the stress of the real estate sector to a certain extent.
Updated - Affordable Rental Housing Complex Scheme
Cabinet Permits Construction of AHRC
The Union Cabinet on July 8 approved the development of affordable rental housing complexes (AHRCs) for urban migrants as a sub-scheme under PMAY-U (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban).
A total budget of Rs 600 crore is expected in the form of a technology innovation grant to be made available for projects using established creative construction technologies. More than 3.5 lakh beneficiaries would benefit from the ARHC scheme.
Under the scheme, existing vacant government-funded housing complexes will be transformed into ARHCs. After 25 years, these complexes will be returned to the Urban Local Bodies ( ULBs) to begin the next process.
The scheme is aimed at migrants and urban poor workers working in the industries, service and manufacturing sectors. This would provide proposed accommodation close to their workplaces in both the industrial and non-formal urban sectors.
ARHCs would provide decent living spaces for a large part of the urban employees, who move to urban centres in search of work but are forced to live in hardship. ARHCs will create a new ecosystem in cities, making affordable rental housing available close to one's place of work.
However, the central government announcement would help thousands of migrant labourers who were the worst hit by COVID-19 also provide benefit to the allied industries.
By: Shailaja K