Amidst Covid-19 and the exodus of migrant labourers and students from cities to their native places, the centre made it clear that these affected segments of society should not be coerced to pay the rent. On July 8, 2020, the ministry of housing and urban affairs confirmed that the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) scheme had received the nod from the union cabinet. The Gujarat government has notified the ARHC policy on September 11, 2020. This rental housing scheme meant for the urban poor will very soon open up for students in Gujarat, ushering in not just affordability but also more access to opportunities.
Who will benefit from ARHC in Gujarat?
Besides students, the economically weaker sections, industrial workers and employees, labourers and even short-term visitors to the city can avail of this benefit. For all such beneficiaries, the rent would be much cheaper than existing market rates.
Boost to industrial and educational corridors
In terms of development, the knowledge corridor of Gandhinagar is set to gain. Besides, industrial areas such as Kalol, Sanand and Santej too stand to gain. Developers have welcomed the move since it means that many of them would be able to provide better stay facilities to the labourers they employ.
For students, this move may be very beneficial. As per current listings on Housing.com, paying guest accommodations start at Rs 9,000 to Rs 25,000 per bed, per month. Even for shared-accommodations provided in colleges, the fee comes up to Rs 7,000 per month, on an average. Cheaper accommodations for students will help authorities and other stakeholders plan commerce and affordable housing avenues close to these areas.
At the same time, the ARHC may not be a viable option in the urban areas under municipal corporation limits. The cost of land is the problem, emphasised Yogesh Bhavsar, senior vice-president of NAREDCO.
Homes under ARHC in Gujarat
The Gujarat government will be tying up with private players in a public-private partnership (PPP) and will use vacant properties in the Gujarat Housing Board and other schemes. Another model involves private participation wherein the builder can construct property as per specifications. However, the developer will need to get the rental rates approved by the government.
What is in it for developers?
While some industry watchers say that heavy subsidies on construction would have been far more enticing, developers tying up with the government for the ARHC are in for some benefits, undoubtedly.
- Developers undertaking their own construction will be allowed 50 percent more floor space index (FSI) at no cost.
- For utility amenities, there is 10 percent additional FSI.
- Profits of developers exempt from Income Tax and Goods and Services Tax
- Developers will be able to provide better accommodation to labourers at a cheaper rate. This will prevent the migration of workers to other places.
Which are some of the top student accommodation areas in Ahmedabad?
Satellite, Navrangpura, Makarba, Bopal, Gota and Thaltej are popular among students.
Is Satellite costly for students?
Cost of an accommodation range between Rs 7,000 to 18,000 per month in Satellite.
Can rental homes under ARHC be maintained by private developers?
Yes, rental homes can be developed under JNNURM or by builders and can be maintained by builders, industrial bodies or even NGOs.