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Old December 18th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Default Rental housing and other developments in Ernakulam

In these hard times, not every one can afford to build a house of one’s own. Due to the high cost of Real Estate Ernakulam district is now the haven for the leading businessmen and other entrepreneurs who do not mind investing any amount of money to own properties in the key urban areas. Moreover, the mobility of the population of the district is on the increase and the people now try to settle at different places where they find daily work or uninterrupted employment.

The demand for rental housing is on the increase in almost all the major towns and cities in Kerala. However, due to the non-availability of land and the necessary finances, coupled with the high cost of housing construction and low returns from investment, rental housing for the low-income groups is not being undertaken to the required extent, particularly by the private sector.

The government should provide adequate incentives to the private sector to build housing units exclusively for rental purposes. For this, the Rent Control Acts would have to be suitably modified, fiscal concessions granted and supply of serviced land, building materials and financial support will also have to be provided. Also, in the case of the low-income group families, the gap between the ‘economic rent’ and ‘social rent’ would have to be bridged by providing subsidies and increasing the rental allowances. It is also necessary to consider the conversion of the rental housing units into permanent ownership housing wherever feasible.

As a measure of social welfare, the government and the public as well as the private sector agencies should come forward to provide rental housing for its employees to the desired satisfaction level, the cooperation of the private sector agencies need to be mobilized for building houses on a large scale by offering attractive terms for investment in housing and providing serviced land, and building materials, etc at affordable costs. The housing needs of special groups like the single working women, the aged and the handicapped should also receive due attention.
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