Poll dates any day,UPA clears building of 1 mn houses

The UPA government on Thursday cleared a scheme to build a million 'affordable' houses across the country over four years to bridge the glaring gap in home-ownership and kick-start the sputtering economy.

Written by Smita Aggarwal | New Delhi | Published:February 27, 2009 8:48 am

The UPA government on Thursday cleared a scheme to build a million “affordable” houses across the country over four years to bridge the glaring gap in home-ownership and kick-start the sputtering economy. The scheme — to be notified next month — was cleared today,barely days before the Election Commission is expected to notify the elections and bring the code of conduct into effect.

A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave the go-ahead for construction of a million houses in partnership with the private sector over the next four years.

The scheme,though targeted at housing for middle and low-income families,will also have 2.5 lakh houses for the

economically weaker section (EWS).

The houses will have a plinth area of 300-1,200 sq ft and will be sold at a pre-determined price that is expected to be lower than the market price. While states will release land for building such affordable houses,the Centre will fund 25 per cent of the total costs on external civic infrastructure such as roads and water supply. It has set aside Rs 5,000 crore for this purpose.

While any city can initiate a housing proposal under the scheme,the government is largely looking at cities with a population of over a million.

Apart from the private sector,state housing boards,employees’ welfare housing societies are expected to partner the government.

The scheme will also fuel applications for home loans at reduced interest rates,the note said.

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