“Housing for All”, an often-stated vision for housing policies in India, has come to mean ownership houses for all residents. This singular focus has been part of programs from the early 1970s and has failed to recognize the range of housing tenures that may enable a viable, sustainable market. This paper reviews the evolution of housing policies since independence and shows that the emphasis on rental housing has not been a central part of housing programs to date. It then broadly characterizes the rental housing market in India, based on national statistics, to show how rental housing for the urban poor, is half of the rental housing market and is the least understood. Thereafter based on primary survey findings, it identifies the main issues that may inform a comprehensive rental housing program was to be developed in India.
This paper was selected for presentation in the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty -2020 (Session 11-01: Addressing urban informality in an equitable way)