Affordable Housing Segment should not be Shabby, Lesson for DDA

Affordable Housing should not be shabby. DDA not only failed to ensure affordability but also faltered at improving the quality of the housing stock.

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Affordable Housing Segment should not be Shabby, Lesson for DDA

Affordable Housing segment in Delhi is in a great demand as the Delhi’s population has been pushed into poorly provisional illegal homes and another large chunk is priced out of the city for want of affordable housing, getting a DDA flat is sort of winning a lottery. But is the DDA Flat worth for.

DDA Aawasiya Yojana 2017 launched few days back and the rush for forms is understandable. The flats costs less than the market rate and comes with a promise of essential services such as water, electricity, sewage disposal and other infrastructural facilities that make them habitable.

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In the few last year’s schemes the agency has been faltering on this promise. Like in 2013 the allottees of Vasant Kunj Flats had to fight it with the agency to bring up their premium properties to livable condition. At least 1,500 of the 25,000 units from the 2014 scheme were returned by buyers who found them too small and shabbily built. In Rohini, there are no connecting roads, streetlights and piped water supply even after three years of allotment. Most flats in Narela are still vacant.

DDA is the biggest builder in the city with the largest area of lands, is responsible for existing housing shortage. The supply never met to the demand. And since 2001, it stopped constructing big projects despite a boom in the property market, a study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research found.

And this benefited the private builders who converted single and double-storey homes into multi-storey flats in Delhi. The property prices increased more than 10 times in a span of fewer than 10 years, the study concluded.

DDA not only failed to ensure affordability but also faltered at improving the quality of the housing stock. DDA is now promising a “greener” design with earthquake-resistant buildings built with fly ash bricks, RO-treated water for drinking, a non-potable supply for washing, a local sewage treatment plant to produce greywater for gardening and chutes to collect garbage from homes.

At its project underway in Jasola in Southeast Delhi, DDA will also provide waterproofing on walls and ceilings, covered parking, guard rooms and facilities for the support staff. One wished these features, along with the basics such as functional connectivity, and water and power supplies, were already integrated into DDA’s standard architectural designs, but better late than never.

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