International Development Planning Review

Affordable housing development in India: a real deal for low-income people?

International Development Planning Review (2013), 35, (3), 261–282.

Abstract

Affordable housing has been the latest addition in the lexicon of Indian policy circles. As neoliberalism started gathering political and policy momentum, the discourse around low-income housing has shifted towards the Government of India's agenda of ‘affordable housing for all’. A stated goal of the policy is to increase housing supply, including the low-income category. Today, however, the manifesting goals of affordable housing design seem to be a ‘walk in two worlds’, with inherent contradictions and paradoxes in the housing ‘dream’ currently being repackaged as affordable homes for low-income people. This paper investigates this aphorism. It argues that both affordability and housing design have several different meanings and identities. Transplanting standard housing design across the board suggests a rather elementary confluence of priorities and policies that is capable of producing a range of alternative scenarios, which may not necessarily align with the goal of ‘affordable housing for all’.

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Author details

Sengupta, Urmi