Praja Foundation brings out first ever report on ‘State of affordable housing’

State of Affordable Housing in Mumbai
FNF South Asia

Praja Foundation, a partner of the Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) working on urban governance issues released their first ever report on ‘State of Affordable Housing in Mumbai’ on 11th of November 2014. This report was produced with guided expertise of civil engineers, urban planners, environmentalists and academicians. Mumbai is the third most populated urban area in the world with more than 17.6 million people and housing is a critical component in assessing the standard of living in such a massive city.

Only in 2001, the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India undertook, for the first time, an estimate of the entire slum population. Prior to that, data was collected from town directories which had data on notified slums only. As per the 1991 census, there were more than 4.9 lakh households living in city slums. As per 2011 census, 41.9 % of Mumbai’s population lives in slum households with 57% households living in one room.

The report highlights that in addition to the inhuman conditions that the slum population lives in, there are 15,274 “houseless” households in the city living in the open or roadside, pavements, under fly-overs or outside places of worship. Praja intends to highlight the acute housing shortage with the population expected to touch 1.5 crore in the next 20 years. Pressure needs to be built on the Government to address this crisis urgently with only two lakh dwelling units being constructed under the State and Central Government schemes during the period of 1995 to 2014.

With 50% of Mumbai’s households earning less than 20,000 Rupees per month, a household with median level of income will need 12 years of income to buy a house. The report also delves deeper into components of affordable housing and why the concept of floor space index in urban planning might not work for Mumbai.

Praja foundation intends to bring forth a series of booklets and briefing papers with probable solutions to the complex problem of housing in the third most populated city in the world. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom has been supporting the Praja foundation in its endeavour of the ‘Praja Dialogue’ project by engaging with citizens, elected representatives and government on issues that concern the citizens of Mumbai.