Housing Shortages in Rural India

TitleHousing Shortages in Rural India
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsShamsher S, Madhura S, Ramachandran VK
JournalReview of Agrarian Studies
Start Page54
End page72
Date Published2014
Keywordshousing and amenities, housing shortage, India, Indira Awaas Yojana., Planning Commission, quality of rural housing, Review of Agrarian Studies, Right to housing, rural housing, village surveys

The right to adequate housing is recognised as a basic human right by
the United Nations and its constituent bodies. Although India is a signatory to many
international covenants in this regard, it has neither a rural housing policy nor
mechanisms to monitor the realisation of the right to adequate housing. This paper
examines the methodology used by the Working Group on Rural Housing for the
Twelfth Five-Year Plan established by the Planning Commission of India to estimate
the housing shortage in rural India. We argue that the methodology of the Working
Group, which focussed only on the material used for roofs and walls, was inadequate
and that their estimate of the housing shortage in rural India a severe underestimate.
We use data from 15 village surveys to estimate the number of households that live
in houses that are built of pucca material, have two rooms, an electricity connection,
a source of water inside the house or immediately outside it, and a functioning latrine.
(These criteria still fall well short of the quality of housing to the provision of which
India is committed internationally.) In order to estimate the order of magnitude of the
shortage of housing in rural India, we then apply the ratios from our village surveys
to the total rural population. While the Working Group of the Planning Commission
estimates the shortage of houses to be about 40 million housing units, our estimates
of the shortfall in housing is of the order of 140 million units.

Publisher Category: