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Housing Minister launches online platforms to market real estate projects

Puri says the housing sector’s demand for one-time debt restructuring and 100 per cent FDI in affordable rental housing will be considered; suggests setting up of a permanent working group

Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, on July 31, launched the online platforms of the two developers’ bodies CREDAI and NAREDCO to market residential properties.

He also released a guide book for affordable rental housing scheme for migrants.

The minister launched 'CREDAI Awaas App' and NAREDCO's online portal 'HousingforAll.com' through a video conference.

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He also released the knowledge pack of the government's 'Affordable Rental Housing Complexes' (ARHCs) scheme that has been launched to provide rental accommodations to migrant and urban poor.

The CREDAI Awaas App would work as a gateway for homebuyers from around the world to connect with genuine member developers whose RERA registered property will be available on this app, the minister said.

On the e-commerce portal by NAREDCO called Housing For All, he said that the portal would host e-commerce housing sales where buyers from across the globe can explore and buy ready-to-move-in homes. It aims to ease the challenges faced by the real estate industry while building confidence in consumers by promoting transparency, accountability, and efficiency.

"We have launched these two portals. The idea came recently and we have been able to implement it," Puri said.

The Union Cabinet on July 8 approved the affordable rental housing complexes (ARHCs) scheme for urban migrants employed in the industries, service sector and manufacturing sector close to their workplace in industrial as well as in non-formal urban sectors. The scheme has been launched under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban (PMAY-U) as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

The ARHCs scheme is expected to aid real estate developers in retain the labour force on their sites, the minister said, adding that rental housing would also be beneficial for young people.

On the sector’s demand for one-time debt restructuring and 100 percent FDI in affordable rental housing, Puri said these demands will be considered.

He also disagreed that the real estate industry was being treated as a step child, saying the government has taken various measures for the growth of the sector.

He also suggested setting up of a permanent working group comprising members from the department and industry bodies, for faster decision making.

To achieve the government's target under the Housing For All by 2022, Puri said the ministry has almost sanctioned the entire 1.12 crore dwelling units as envisaged under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (Urban). About 70 percent of the sanctioned houses have been grounded.

Housing and Urban Affairs secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said the two new e-commerce platforms by CREDAI and NAREDCO have the potential to become the Amazon of real estate.

In a bid to keep declining housing sales in check and revive the demand amid COVID-19 pandemic, real estate developers will offer over 2.70 lakh ready-to-move-in houses to homebuyers online.

All National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) members would list their housing properties for sale on the e-commerce marketplace ‘NAREDCO Housing For All.’ This is expected to unlock the affordable housing properties worth over Rs 1.21 lakh crore and offer a great opportunity to the national and international homebuyers to buy RERA registered properties at the right prices anywhere in India.

Niranjan Hiranandani, national president, NAREDCO, and ASSOCHAM stated that there is an urgent need for affordable rental housing schemes in cities like Mumbai.

"We have almost around 650 acres of salt pan land in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation limits. There is a need to open up the land for the construction of affordable and low-cost housing in a city like Mumbai where there is an acute paucity of vacant land," he said during the webinar.

Jaxay Shah, chairman, Credai National said that COVID-19 crisis has made people realize the importance of homes. “‪Proptech is the future of real estate and initiatives such as the CREDAI Awaas App will be instrumental in bridging the hiatus between the customer and developer.”

According to guidelines issued by the housing and urban development ministry, ARHCs will have a two-pronged approach. First, the existing vacant government funded housing complexes will be converted into ARHCs through concession agreements for 25 years.

The concessionaire will make the complexes livable by repair/retrofit and maintenance of rooms and filling up infrastructure gaps like water, sewer/septage, sanitation, roads. States/Union Territories will select concessionaire through transparent bidding. Complexes will revert to urban local bodies (ULB) after 25 years to restart next cycle like earlier or run on their own, the ministry said.

Second, special incentives like use permission, 50 percent additional FAR/FSI, concessional loan at priority sector lending rate, tax reliefs at par with affordable housing will be offered to private/public entities to develop ARHCs on their own available vacant land for 25 years.

Beneficiaries could be labour, urban poor such as street vendors, market or trade associations, industrial workers, manufacturing units, long term tourists, visitors, hospitality sector, students, educational or health institutions.
First Published on Jul 31, 2020 07:53 pm
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