Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs has said that numerous incentives/benefits including free FAR, concessional project Finance, trunk infrastructure facilities free of cost amongst others are a part of a scheme for Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) for urban migrants/ poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY- U). This initiative, he said, has been taken up to provide dignified and affordable living spaces to varied groups of urban migrants/ poor including industrial & construction workers, migrants working with market / trade associations, educational/health institutions, hospitality sector, long term tourists/ visitors, students etc. He was addressing a webinar at the launch of Affordable Rental Housing Complex portal and release of guidelines and guidebook, here today. Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA presided over the proceedings of the event during which ARHC Expression of Interest was also published. Earlier, an ARHCs Knowledge Pack that included Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to be signed with States/UTs, Operational Guidelines in English, Model Request for Proposal (RFP) for selection of Concessionaire by States/UTs/ULBs (under Model-1), Draft Expression of Interest (EOI) for shortlisting of Entities under Model-2 and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) were launched on 31 July 2020.
COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in massive reverse migration of workers/ urban poor in the country. This brought issues of housing to forefront. In line with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s clarion call of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Union Cabinet on July 8, 2020, approved Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) as a sub scheme under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) to provide ease of living to urban migrants/poor.
ARHC scheme has been framed after series of consultation with concerned Central Ministries/Departments, States/UTs and other Private/ Public stakeholders. AKP (knowledge pack) has been devised to provide support to all stakeholders in implementing ARHCs. A continued cooperation in successful implementation of this Scheme will not only benefit urban migrants/poor in need but also accelerate entrepreneurship and investment in rental housing market and give boost to the economy. It will be a win-win-win model for all and has evinced strong interest from private Entities.
ARHCs will be implemented through two Models:
Model-1: Utilizing existing Government funded vacant houses to convert into ARHCs through Public Private Partnership or by public agencies for a period of 25years. The scheme provides an opportunity for all States/UTs to convert their existing vacant houses constructed under various Central/ State Government schemes into ARHCs. A model RFP has been shared with all States for customisation and issuance by them to select a concessionaire.
Model-2: Construction, Operation and Maintenance of ARHCs by Public/ Private Entities on their own available vacant land for a period of 25 years. A large portion of available vacant land is lying unutilized with various Industries, Trade Associations, Manufacturing Companies, Educational/ Health Institutions, Development Authorities, Housing Boards, Central/ State Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and other such Entities. By providing with appropriate policy support, enabling suitable provisions and incentives, these available vacant lands can be utilised effectively for developing affordable housing facilities to migrants/ poor. Further, MoHUA will issue Expression of Interest (EoI) for shortlisting of Entities by ULBs to Construct, Operate and Maintain ARHCs on their own available vacant land.
To make this a lucrative and viable business opportunity for Entities, Central Govt. will provide Concessional Project finance under Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) & Priority Sector Lending (PSL), Exemption in Income Tax and GST and Technology Innovation Grant for promotion of innovative technologies in ARHCs. Further, State/UT Govt. will provide Use Permission changes, 50% additional FAR/FSI free of cost, Single Window Approval within 30 days, Trunk Infrastructure facility and Municipal charges at par with residential property.
On the occasion, a National Report on ANGIKAAR – a campaign for change management for PMAY (U) beneficiaries through a 3 C strategy- Community Engagement, Convergence and Communication was also launched by Hardeep S. Puri. The report is a recollection of various activities under the campaign. A short movie ‘ANGIKAAR 2019…a reminiscence’ that encapsulates the journey of the campaign so far, was also released. Hon’ble Prime Minister had envisioned providing ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 with all basic amenities under PMAY (U) and emphasized on the need to address issues that arise from life transformation when beneficiaries move into a pucca house. Aligning with this vision ANGIKAAR-campaign was launched on 29th August 2019.
The goals and objectives of ANGIKAAR followed ethos of Gandhian philosophy on cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation. These facilitate acclimatization of beneficiaries to the new environment and make them self-sufficient. Further, convergence with Urban Missions and other Central schemes were undertaken through campaigns to propel social behaviour change. States/UTs were able to provide various services to beneficiaries through convergence with Urban Missions and schemes of other Central Ministries. More than 20 lakh households have availed benefits of various schemes and adopted best practices of health, hygiene, cleanliness, waste management, environment water, and energy conservation through mass mobilization. Around 18,500 ANGIKAAR Resource Persons were trained by about 2,200 specialists of City Level Technical Cell (CLTC) working in 4,427 cities of PMAY (U). The campaign has built capacities to manage change and also address issues that arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic.