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Housing is a State subject. The Union Government is, however, responsible for the formulation of policy with regard to programme and approaches for effective implementation for social housing schemes, particularly those pertaining to weaker sections of the society. A comprehensive Housing and Habitat Policy, 1998 was formulated to address the issues of sustainable development, infrastructure and for strong public-private partnership for shelter delivery. The objectives of the policy are to create surpluses in housing stock by creating an enabling environment and facilitate construction of two million additional dwelling units each year. It also seeks to ensure that housing along with supporting services is treated as priority sector at par with infrastructure. The Central theme of the policy is strong public-private partnership for tackling housing and infrastructure problems.

The Government would provide fiscal concessions; carryout legal and regulatory reforms and create an enabling environment. The problem of housing shortage compounded with the population explosion has also been addressed by this policy. This document clearly identifies the respective roles of the Central Government, the State Government, local authorities, financial institutions, research standardisation and technical institutions. However, since housing is a state subject, State Governments have to play the primary role in formulating specific action plans and programmes suited to local needs and conditions duly involving local bodies and citizen groups. The Government has identified 'Housing for All' as a priority area, with particular emphasis on the needs of vulnerable groups. It is proposed to facilitate construction of 20 lakh additional units every year, with emphasis on Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Groups (LIG) of the population as also the needs to SC/ST and other vulnerable groups. Out of 20 lakh additional houses, seven lakh houses are to be constructed in urban areas and the remaining 13 lakh in rural areas.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 11-01-2011