04 July 2020

Table of Contents for Cover Story

Interaction - Aditya Deshpande, Dir, CITY Corporation Ltd (AMANORA PARK TOWN)

Affordable Housing, a blue eyed boy of real estate industry, liked & but not nourished




With a Vision to create quality and eco-friendly shelters for the classes and masses through integrated townships and related infrastructure – commercial, social, educational, health and entertainment to provide customers value for their money, CITY CORPORATION plans to build about 15 lakhs sq.ft. per year in township projects in the coming years. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, ADITYA DESHPANDE, DIRECTOR, CITY CORPORATION LIMITED (AMANORA PARK TOWN) speaks about the performance of affordable housing sector, government’s initiatives and volume of the Affordable Housing market in India.






Your assessment and comments on the performance of the Affordable Housing initiative, what kind of business opportunities has it generated?


Affordable housing is some time referred as the ‘blue eyed boy’ of the real estate industry. It has taken up slowly but is not expected to meet the target of housing for all by 2022. Main hurdles are availability of land, delays in clearances and its branding as ‘cheap houses’, which is actually not correct, but perception matters. GST has also has hampered the sector all through.




Could you brief us of the role played by your company in terms of meeting the requirement for affordable housing set by the government? If so please give details.


We, at Amanora, as a township company, have a vision of housing for classes & masses. We did our bit when affordable housing was only being talked by providing 10% of offering with less than 400 sq.ft. Area, like studio apartments & they were popular. Now in our proposed township projects there is a significant portion of affordable housing for our targeted market.




Cost/Benefit analysis of the Affordable segment for Builders/Developers. How will you balance the Cost/Quality equation?


The affordability, firstly comes from the land price and the size of the flat. Secondly, the design contributes to its cost benefit ratio by eliminating frills, judicious use of space, functional materials, which are sturdy/strong etc. Economies of scale i.e. more number of flats in one building as well as somewhat high rise buildings help. For a customer, there are schemes like PMAY, interest subvention, and sometimes the planning authority like PMC, PMRDA, MMRDA themselves promoting the schemes like in PMC & PMRDA, with their own land helps cost / benefit / quality equation.



The government in its last year budget had doubled the subsidy amount allocated to Rs.8 billion. To what extent has this helped the sector in the last year? What more in terms of subsidy do you think can be done to attract more builder/developers to participate in the Affordable Housing programme?


National Housing Bank (NHB)channelizes the Govt. and World Bank funds, and has following progress to reportin2018:



PMAY – Housing for All – Urban (Progress)
Physical Progress.
• Housing sactioned                                      Rs. 53.79 lakhs
• Houses grounded                                       Rs. 29.49 lakhs
• Investment in Projects                                Rs. 2,96,169 crore
• Central Assistance committed                    Rs. 81,952 crore
• Central Assistance Sanctioned                   Rs. 38,783 crore
• Central Assistance Released                     Rs. 27,811 crore
(Source Report on Affordable Housing & Housing Finance – 2018) by National Housing Bank).



At present country wide monitoring of this sector is not being done, so the assessment is bit difficult.  In case of Maharashtra, the State Govt. planned 6.7 laks houses by 2019 (19.4 lakhs by 2022). But they are only half way through for 2019target. If the State Govt. releases land to the private developers for affordable housing at affordable price, the private sector can contribute. This still awaited in practice.



Can you list the major challenges faced by developers/builders/promoters, playing in the Affordable Housing segment. Also challenges faced regarding environmental clearances for your projects.


Availability of land on Transport Oriented Development (TOD) route is the challenge. Environment clearances are somewhat time consuming but if developers take care of major guidelines one should be through of such clearances in a reasonable time. Other challenges for private partnership include low profit margin, delays in clearances, rising input costs & GST rates. At present whole industry is in doldrums except for few better organized, prudent companies.




Volume/Value of the Affordable Housing market in India.  Which are the Affordable Housing hotspots, across urban India?


In 2018, the shortage was of 11 million of units in urban areas expected to reach 19 million by 2022, and 38 million by 2030. This is a huge market. In terms of hot spots, one can say Maharashtra is leading & U. P. is at bottom, according to a study by a consulting agency. Reliable data is not available as yet.




Your company’s plans for the future and outlook? What are your future plans – new markets, new verticals, new projects in the pipeline?


We stick to our mission of houses for classes & masses, we plan to build about 15 lakhs sq.ft. per year with a significant part of product in affordable category for Pune market in our township project in the coming years. Our new projects would be in and around Pune, where our brand story is strong.




Tell us about the company’s agenda going forward?


Besides, housing we plan to diversify in urban social infra projects like commercial infra projects along Metro in Pune and Sports infra elsewhere. True to our vision, we will be customer centric:


We have received “CII AWARD FOR CUSTOMER OBSESSION -2019”.


The Award is for


  1. Recognition for active customer engagement- Services.
  2. Special recognition for leveraging digital technologies for superior customer experience.

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