J&K government notifies new housing policy

Jammu and Kashmir government has notified new housing policy targeting to construct one lakh dwelling units in next five years.

An order issued by J&K Housing and Urban Development Department reads: “In supersession of all the previous policies/notifications/orders on the issue and in the interest of general public, the government of J&K hereby notifies the Jammu and Kashmir Housing, Affordable Housing, Slum Redevelopment and Rehabilitation and Township Policy -2020.”

Under the policy, the government has set an initial target of 1 lakh dwelling units to be constructed over the next five years for economically weaker section and lower income group households.

The policy document notes: “As per 2011 census,

the (urban) housing stock in J&K stood at 4.96 lakh for 5.17 lakh (urban households) meeting the demand by 96 percent.

“Though the demand and supply gap is narrow, however the actual demand is high due to housing dilapidation and multi-family housing and single room housing.

“The dilapidated houses constitute about 3 percent of the total housing stock, the houses having no exclusive room or one room are about 18 percent and the household having more than one couple living in them are more than 18 percent.

“All this data point to a higher housing deficit than is obvious from the direct gap of housing supply and demand.”

The UT has a growth rate of about 23 percent which exceeds the national growth rate of about 17 percent. It has been found that household formation rate (2.5 percent) for the region is higher than its population growth rate which will have direct implications on the housing demand in the area. Keeping in mind the household formation rate of 2.5 percent, the projected housing demand in the UT of J&K is roughly estimated to be 2.5 lakh dwelling units out of which around 3o percent is the estimate for the urban areas.

The policy envisages seven models of housing, from in-situ slum redevelopment to integrated township so that it can cater to the needs of every section of the society.

It will try to promote public-private partnership for affordable housing projects as well as the slum development projects in the UT.

The policy also has provisions for operating as a platform for operation and maintenance of integrated or special townships in a cooperative manner.

The existing slum dwellers will be given minimum relocation facility in order to maintain the sanctity of the existing economic and social linkages developed over time in the settlements, the document says.

The policy also includes provisions for fast-track approvals of housing in economically weaker sections and lower income group categories. It also provides certain relaxations for these houses regarding building permit fee, land-use conversion, external development charges, etc.

It also focuses on rental housing projects in which the EWS families will be provided accommodation on license basis for occupation and use for a particular period on making an initial deposit and monthly charges.