Real Estate

Policies can drive affordable housing

Our Chennai Bureau | Updated on October 12, 2012 Published on October 12, 2012

Accent on policy: Affordable flats at a housing board colony. An expert says policychanges can help build houses that will suit the income levels of the middle and upper middle classes.

New policies should drive adoption of new technologies in construction for cost effectiveness and affordable housing, according to experts at a seminar on affordable housing organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry last week.

According to Joseph Rajaratnam, Chief Engineer, Tamil Nadu Housing Board, government housing projects should adopt new construction methods such as prefabricated housing, alternative products to sand and bricks to encourage wider adoption of such cost effective methods. But current cost estimates by the Public Works Department do not provide for such flexibility but only promote conventional systems. This needs to change.

New tack

Public sector housing agencies such as the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board are trying such new approaches. The Board has called for tenders for prefabricated structures in its projects, he said.

The TNHB is trying to revive an aerated concrete block – a light weight concrete block – which can be an alternative to conventional bricks. This plant had been set up in 1970s but had been abandoned. The Housing Board is now trying to revive this project, he said.

Set up in 1961 the Housing Board has developed nearly 4 lakh houses through a number of apartment projects. Of this, three-fourths were housing for the middle and low income groups. With land price soaring in cities, new policies are needed for obtaining land for low and economically weaker sections of the society, he said.

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Published on October 12, 2012
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