Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Ministry of Urban Affairs has approved nearly 60,000 units under its Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHCs) scheme in a recently held meeting of the Central monitoring committee. So far, about 4,000 government-funded vacant houses have been converted into ARHCs under the government’s rental scheme for urban migrants and poor. 

The Centre under its Atmanirbhar Bharat package had announced the ARHC scheme to create a sustainable ecosystem of affordable rental housing solutions for urban poor. A senior ministry official said the approval for proposals under Model 2 of ARHCs was reviewed by the secretary with regards to Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. A total of 59,350 units, including single/double bedroom units and dormitory beds, have been approved for urban migrants/poor, involving a Technology Innovation Grant of over Rs 135 crore.

Officials said 3,964 government-funded vacant houses have been converted into ARHCs. Request for Proposal have been issued for 5,734 houses in various states. Moreover, 66 proposals have been received from public/private entities for construction of 1,02,019 units in 18 states/UTs, which are evaluated by the Urban Local Bodies. The ARHC scheme is being implemented in all statutory towns as per Census 2011.

“Initial affordable rent of ARHCs is to be fixed by local authorities based on a local survey. Subsequently, rent will be enhanced biennially by 8% subject to maximum increase of 20% in aggregate, over a period of five years effective from the date of signing the contract. The same mechanism shall be followed over the entire concession period which is 25 years,” said the ministry recently in a Parliament reply. 

Beneficiaries for ARHCs will be from Economically Weaker Section (EWS) or Low Income Group (LIG), who are urban migrants/poor. Officials said that priority under this scheme shall be given to persons belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes, widows and working women, Divyang, minorities, subject to beneficiaries being from EWS/LIG segments as provisioned by the Central government.