Housing Solutions for Urban Areas

Housing Solutions for Urban Areas


The recent announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding a new scheme to assist urban underprivileged individuals in constructing homes within cities signals a fresh initiative aimed at tackling the persistent issue of housing scarcity in urban areas. This development stands in contrast to the government’s stance just five months ago, when it had indicated that no further housing schemes were planned after the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) until December 2024.


GS-02: (Government policies and interventions)


  • PM Awas Yojana
  • PM SVANidhi Scheme

Mains Question:

  • Address the housing shortage crisis in urban areas and discuss the implications of the proposed scheme in light of the ongoing challenges associated with ‘housing for all.’ (1500 words)

Dimensions of the Article:

  • Incomplete Progress Under PMAY-U
  • Financial Assistance Allocation
  • Burden on Beneficiaries
  • Implementing Key Recommendations
  • Unveiling Housing Challenges
  • A Call for Collaborative Deliberation

Incomplete Progress Under PMAY-U

  • Over the span of eight years since the inception of PMAY-U, approximately 76.25 lakh out of the sanctioned 1.19 crore houses have been either completed or handed over as of August 14.
  • This completion rate of two-thirds raises concerns about the feasibility of achieving the intended targets.

Financial Assistance Allocation

  • The financial framework of PMAY-U has been marked by central assistance amounting to ₹1.49 lakh crore, with the Centre’s contribution comprising 24.4%, and State governments and urban local bodies contributing 16%.
  • The remaining substantial portion, nearly 60%, must be funded by the beneficiaries themselves.

Burden on Beneficiaries

  • In view of the proposed scheme, a key objective should be to reduce the financial burden on beneficiaries, as underscored by a parliamentary committee report.
  • This is particularly crucial due to the limited income capacity of the urban poor. Many State governments attempt to facilitate bank loans for these beneficiaries, yet financial institutions have displayed hesitancy, citing a lack of evidence for stable income.

Implementing Key Recommendations

  • The parliamentary committee has made noteworthy recommendations for the effective implementation of PMAY-U. Among these, a significant proposal involves abandoning the approach of uniform and fixed financial assistance nationwide.
  • Instead, a flexible approach that takes into account topographical and contextual factors should be adopted.

Unveiling Housing Challenges

  • It is imperative to delve into the underlying reasons for inadequate housing quality and high levels of unoccupancy.
  • Factors such as exorbitant land costs, constraints on floor space indices, and the necessity for multiple certifications from diverse agencies all play decisive roles in shaping the success of urban housing initiatives.

A Call for Collaborative Deliberation

  • The intricacies of urban housing demand a comprehensive dialogue orchestrated by the central government. Such discussions should involve State governments, local authorities, urban planning experts, financial institutions, and advocacy groups.
  • With ample time at hand, this collaborative approach can facilitate the formulation of a robust and foolproof housing scheme.

Way forward:

  • In the upcoming period, the priority must be to draft a housing scheme that transcends the realm of mere rhetoric and transforms the aspiration of ‘housing for all’ into a concrete reality. A comprehensive strategy that addresses the diverse challenges of urban housing in a flexible and inclusive manner is not only essential but also attainable.


  • The government’s recent initiative to address urban housing scarcity marks a significant step forward, signaling a recognition of the persistent challenges faced by the urban poor. The evolution of the PMAY-U and the proposed scheme underscore the complexities of ensuring housing for all. A concerted effort that reconsiders financial allocations, promotes collaborative dialogue, and adapts strategies to regional contexts can pave the way for a future where affordable and quality housing becomes an achievable aspiration for every urban dweller.