India International Workshop: Scaling up Upgrading and Affordable Housing: From National Policies, to State Programs, and City-Wide Slum-Free Interventions
The Government of India has launched Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) - slum upgrading initiative, which envisions a slum-free India by 2014. Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA) is tasked to implement and operationalise the initiative. Within the context of RAY, MoHUPA seeks knowledge support from the Cities Alliance, the World Bank and the World Bank Institute. The proposed activity intends to organise a high-level workshop that would help deepen the debate on issues central to successful implementation of RAY. The issues include tenure security, financing, urban planning and land assembly, and community participation in planning and implementation. The workshop would also help create a pool of experts who can respond to the Ministry's 'demand' for support on various issues.
The objective is to help deepen the debate on the key issues underlying RAY and seek feedback on how to scale up slum upgrading and affordable housing through country-wide frameworks, state programmes, and city-wide interventions. The participants will include officials from MoHUPA, State Housing Departments and financial institutions.
The activity includes organising a two-day knowledge exchange workshop. The event will be structured around the following themes: 1) Financing upgrading and affordable housing; 2) Land markets, tenure, and regularisation; 3) Participation in Planning, Implementation and Post-Occupation; and 4) Implementing City Wide Upgrading Strategies.
Expected Impacts and Results
The key messages to the Ministry on RAY design were: (i) the scale of the challenge and resource availability makes it imperative that the national slum upgrading programme should focus on in situ slum upgrading, with provision of basic services, rather than slum redevelopment/relocation with a large component of new housing for slum-dwellers; (ii) house improvements should be left to household initiative through facilitating input of easy access to institutional home loan facility; (iii) community engagement in planning and implementation of slum improvement is the key; and, (iv) it may be a challenge for the state governments to legislate provision of property titles to slum-dwellers so the national government may consider an incremental approach to assigning tenure rights to slum-dwellers. These messages have impacted the RAY design.