PM Modi asks housing ministry to use vacant government offices to house the poor
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the housing ministryto explore the possibility of utilising vacant governmenthouses, unutilised or abandoned offices and land of public sector undertakings to provide a roof to the needy, top government sources said.
While chairing a review meeting on the infrastructure recently, Modi took stock of the progress of government’s flagship housing schemes under PM AwasYojna (PMAY), both in urban and rural areas. It has set the target of building two crore houses in villages and one crore in urban areas by 2022.
Sources said the PM has asked the urban housing ministry to expedite how a huge chunk of abandoned PSU land in cities such as Mumbai can be utilised for meeting the requirement of people who don’t have roofs over their head. Modi has also directed the rural development ministry, which is in-charge of the rural component of PMAY, to expedite the allotment of land to 3.94 lakh families, who are landless, by December.
Such identified beneficiaries can get the financial assistance to build houses only when they have land.
Considering that approximately 1.1 crore houses in urban areas are lying vacant, the urban housing ministry has been asked to finalise the model Tenant Act by October and ensure states amend and legislate their own act. This law aims at protecting the interest of both the tenants and house owners against harassment.
The PMO has also set an October deadline for finalisation of the National Urban Rental Policy, which targets to put a framework in place for people to get rental houses at affordable rate. This primarily aims at meeting the requirement of migrant workers and employees.