Budget 2017 was the first post-demonetisation financial outlay of the government and expectations were running high. Infrastructure status accorded to the affordable housing sector came as the most significant announcement for the consumers and the industry players and gave them reasons to rejoice. This was in tandem with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Housing for All by 2022’, which aims at building more than two crore homes for the economically weaker sections and low-income groups in urban locations by 2022. The positive sentiment towards affordable housing in India is evident from the spike in demand. Last year, new affordable housing units grew 27 per cent. By 2022, the affordable housing space is expected to turn into a Rs. 6 lakh crore opportunity. With the rising demand, potential home buyers will turn to HFCs (housing finance companies) and banks for home loans.
As the country awaits the Budget 2018 on February 1, the consumer expectation is that the streak of pro-consumer and inclusive-development measures will continue. This will propel growth in the segment and lead to higher consumption. With housing sector providing impetus to over 200 ancillary sectors, employment generation is expected to grow with increase in affordable housing.
The social impact of having increased stock of quality affordable housing will lead to a decrease in drop-out rate of the school-going girl child around their teens, as well as improve health and sanitation. Hence, financing affordable housing consumers is in alignment with the country’s policy on ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana’ scheme under ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ program implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(Srinath Sridharan is Member, Group Management Council, Wadhawan Global Capital)
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