Even as the country faces a shortage of 19 million houses, around 10.2 million completed units are lying vacant, which can be absorbed under rental housing programme for weaker sections, says property consultant CBRE.
According to CBRE, around 56 per cent of the shortage of 19 million units, is from the economically weaker section (EWS) with an average annual household income of up to Rs 1 lakh, while around 40 per cent in the lower income group (LIG) with an income of Rs 1–2 lakh.
"Primary reason for this supply–demand mismatch is the paucity of formal housing options low-income population with low affordability levels."
"The lack of access to formal credit along with high priced home loans and debt, leave them with little more than squatter colonies, urban slums and unauthorised settlements by way of affordable accommodation options," CBRE South Asia Chairman and Managing Director Anshuman Magazine said.
According to the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat constitute about 76 per cent of this urban housing shortag.
"Despite a housing shortage, around 10.2 million completed houses are also lying vacant across urban India.
Although the larger focus has traditionally been on ownership of housing, the significance of rental housing cannot be emphasised enough," he said.
Magazine opined that rental housing offers a convenient and cost effective option for migrant populations, who may not want to make long-term financial commitment in a city.
"While the higher and middle income members of these groups have the option of hiring apartments and bungalows in upmarket and middle class residential areas, the LIG and EWS groups are left with hiring rooms and slums in unauthorised colonies and urban villages," he said.
He further said the government is currently working towards the promotion of rental housing stocks through legislative support including preparing Draft National Urban Rental Policy 2015 and Draft Model Tenancy Act 2015.
"A recommended strategy will lie in addressing issues related to institutional implementation to encourage adoption of the policy at central, state and municipal levels in a time-bound manner," Magazine added.