The housing sector ranks fourth in terms of the multiplier effect on the Economy, ahead of sectors like transport and agriculture. In terms of contribution to the GDP, for every rupee invested in housing and construction, 78 paise is added to the GDP (Jain n.d.). Despite this, the sector faces an immense shortage wherein the current housing shortage in urban areas is estimated to be ~10 million units. An additional 25 million affordable housing units are required by 2030 to meet the growth in the country's urban population alone. (IBEF 2021)
Over the years, the Government has introduced multiple initiatives aimed at tackling the affordable housing issue, such as the flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana -Urban (PMAY-U) scheme. The most recent innovative example is the sub-scheme under PMAY-U - the Affordable Rental Housing Scheme (ARHC) - initiated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) as a response to the Covid-19 crisis to provide decent and affordable rental housing to low-income urban migrants.
MoHUA’s policy push for affordable housing also aims to facilitate the adoption of low-cost modern, innovative and green technology for construction under the LightHouse Projects (LHPs), as part of the Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC-India) initiative (Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs 2021). (Global Housing Technology Challenge India n.d.) a certification course on innovative construction technologies named NAVARITIH (New, Affordable, Validated, Research Innovation Technologies for Indian Housing) has also been released to promote innovation. Along with this, the Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerator – India (ASHA India) aims to catalyse research and development in the housing construction sector by providing a suitable platform to promote and showcase India’s vibrant and dynamic community of innovators. (Global Housing Technology Challenge India n.d.)
The Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) was also introduced in an attempt “to minimize a building’s resource consumption, waste generation, and overall ecological impact to within certain nationally acceptable limits/benchmarks.” (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment n.d.). Some famous technologies currently used in India are Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) technology, precast modular technology, and the monolithic reinforced concrete construction system (Batham 2019). With competition in the housing market, various private players have started investing in digitisation and innovation. Platforms like Housing.com, magicbricks.com, 99acres.com, etc., have been working in curbing the gap between the buyer and seller. Furthermore, players like colive, nestaway, etc., have also sprawled in the market for fulfilling the co-living necessities. (Ghosh 2015). The uber-luxury segment has witnessed the most innovation with the incorporation of IOT and developing the new concept of “Smart Homes”. Drone footage and computer graphics have enabled the industry to offer a 3-d walkthrough and virtual reality tours of the property through digital means. (KPMG 2020)
The Government has initiated several other supporting reforms in the housing to regularize the real estate India market, such as the Real Estate Regulations Act (RERA) and Goods and Services Tax (GST), has added transparency in the industry. This has also empowered the property buyers and helped them get their trust back in the sector. (Firstpost 2019)