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Housing policy: noble intentions, but improvements needed

The new policy expands housing possibilities, but falls short of addressing some fundamental issues

After staying long in the making, the first Tamil Nadu Affordable Urban Housing and Habitat Policy has been finally notified and it has been in the public realm for a few weeks now. Coming as it does, at a time when housing prices are steeply increasing, and owning or renting a house is possible only in far peripheries, the policy is a significant step. It has noble intentions and expands housing possibilities, including transit and rental housing for migrant workers. While this is a plus, in the absence of any reliable stock-taking, a clear statement of the problem and reassuring solutions, there are serious questions about the policy’s effectiveness.

Avowed objectives of the policy are three — first, the government will henceforth provide housing only for the very poor and ease its financial burden; second, it

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