Thousands of low-cost homes empty despite urban shortage
Tens of thousands of low-cost homes are lying empty across India even as officials race to meet a deadline to provide housing for everyone by 2022, which analysts say highlights critical shortcomings in government policy.
About 164,000 low-cost homes built under previous schemes are vacant, according to a housing ministry official.
“There is a process to allot them, and that takes time. We have been pushing state governments to allot these homes at the earliest, and we are focused on meeting the mission target,” said the official, who asked not be named.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Housing For All Mission in 2015, with a deadline of 2022. It aims to build 20 million urban housing units and 30 million rural homes. More than 800,000 units have been completed, with about 2.8 million homes in various stages of construction, according to housing ministry data.But activists say the program, which also offers subsidized loans, bypasses homeless people who cannot afford the mortgage payments.