Amid housing shortage of up to 25 million units in the country, Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna today said there are 11 million homes that are vacant as per the latest census figure and out of that 10 percent lies in the national capital region.
Addressing a real estate conference organised by the RICS, a global body to set standards for realty sector, Krishna said the Centre is revisiting rental law to boost housing supply.
He suggested that real estate projects, whether built by government bodies or private developers, should be handed over to the local municipalities for maintenance purpose.
"We have a housing shortage of 25 million units as per one estimates and 19-20 million units as per another projection. We have vacant housing as high as 11 millions units as per the latest 2011 census," the secretary said.
Krishna said 10 percent of the vacant and unoccupied homes are located in the NCR.
The Centre had projected the total housing shortage in the country at 18.78 million in the beginning of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17). More than 90 percent of shortage exists for the EWS/LIG Section of society.
Expressing concern over the slow pace of urbanisation, he said at least 70 percent of the population should live in urban area.
"We have not urbanised enough. The urbanisation level of 31 per cent is not enough. It's a serious issue," Krishna said, adding that slow pace of urbanisation is putting huge pressure on rural land, which is resulting in fragmentation of land holdings to the disadvantage of farmers.
The secretary mentioned that there is lot of scope in the real estate sector for all stakeholders.
Krishna noted that the government was giving big thrust on housing for weaker section, but he was worried that homes were not being occupied by the beneficiaries.
Favouring "management of built environment in legally sound manner", Krishna said time has come that "maintenance activities" should not be with developers.
"Built space should be handed over to local bodies," he said, asking RICS to consider this suggestion.
Speaking on the occasion, CBRE- South Asia CMD Anshuman Magazine said the real estate sector would get a boost if there was an abundant long term funding at much lower cost, improvement in infrastructure facilities and higher economic growth.