While admitting that any attempt to fix a definition for affordable housing for a country as large and diverse as India, using the concept of one-size-fits-all, would be counter-productive, the panel headed by HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh has sought to redefine housing parameters.

It said EWS/LIG flats could be those between 300-600sqft, up from the earlier 250sqft for EWS and 300-325sqft for LIG. It suggested enhancing MIG limit to carpet area of 1,200 sqft, up from 650 sqft.

The task force estimated that alleviating the urban housing shortage could raise the rate of GDP growth by at least 1-1.5% and have a huge impact on improving the quality of life.

The panel urged permitting housing finance institutions to access long-term external commercial borrowing market, considering the HFIs required long-term funding sources at low cost to pass on benefits to the ultimate borrowers.

The Times of India