Looking to the future: Affordable Housing can be the main building block for Sustainable Development
With a rapid growth of population, urban cities are expanding at a rate never witnessed before. Land is constantly being used to build houses or some form of amenity to expand the city. The environment however, faces the brunt of this issue it is unable to cope up with the pace of our development. While most agree that sustainable development is a necessity for our planet, we rarely see any measures being implemented in the houses we buy. But what if affordable housing can be the foundation for sustainable development?
This year’s union budget has focused greatly on affordable housing with major incentives offered to both first time home buyers and developers. The government has allowed for a 100% exemption on service and income tax on the construction of affordable housing up to 30 square metres in the major four metro cities and 60 square metres in other cities. First time buyers are also allowed a larger deduction of an additional Rs. 50,000 for home loans up to Rs. 35 lakhs as long as the home’s value does not exceed Rs. 50 lakhs. These new rules are sure to increase the buying of homes.
The best way to create affordable homes while also aiding sustainable development is for institutional investors and PE fund houses to work closely with smaller developers to make sure that they adhere to certain environmental regulations. These would work best with small developers who have homes in the small ticket size to medium ticket size range.This would minimize the risk of investment for smaller investors and encourage them further. It is also easier to attract people to existing smaller settlements and small townships, and in turn, they vacate illegal abodes on the peripheries of the city.
By following the regulations put down by urban planning authorities and other statutory authorities, developers can reduce the effect construction would have on the environment.Affordable housing will relieve these environmental stresses automatically.
The road to a sustainable future is a long one, but affordable housing can be one of the building blocks in the larger picture.