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CERTIFICATE This is to certify that the dissertation entitled AFFORDABLE HOUSING is a bonafide record of independent work done by SHASHVAT DWIVEDI under my supervision and submitted to Hitkarini College of Architecture and Town Planning in partial fulfillment for the degree of Bachelor in Architecture.









DECLARATION This dissertation, entitled “AFFORDABLE HOUSING “is being submitted. Research Principles and Dissertation “as a part of requirement for the seventh semester of Bachelor’s Degree of Architecture by the undersigned for evaluation.” The matter embodied in this dissertation is either my own work or compilation of other’s work, acknowledged properly. If, in future, it is found that the above statement is false, then the institute may take any action against me as per rules.




ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Before I begin I would like to express my gratitude for all those who, knowingly or unknowingly, directly or indirectly helped me in this research. Any academic assignment or venture cannot be accomplished without the able guidance of the teachers. I am grateful to my guide AR. VINEETA MAHESHWARI for her help and precious advice during various stages of this dissertation. Her guidance helped me to stay focused on the important aspects of the dissertation. I want to thank my parents and friends who devoted so much of their time and energy to me. Without their physical or moral support this dissertation would not have been a success story. Lastly, I am thankful to the dissertation coordinator Ar. Meghna Pachunde Jain who patiently dealt with my shortcomings from time to time and encouraged me throughout this dissertation.







CONTENTS : PART - 1 1. Limitations 2. Definition 3. Housing scenario, reasons and need for affordable housing. 4. Affordable housing as a prerequisite 5. Aims and objectives

PART - 2 1. Land use and physical planning for housing a. Regulation acts b. Building bye-laws c. Residential densities 2. Development and adoption of affordable housing technologies 3. Low-cost infrastructural services 4. Case studies i. ii.

Belapur low cost housing, Navi Mumbai. CIDCO low cost housing , Navi Mumbai.

5. Conclusion




1. This dissertation is India centric. 2. Only metropolitan cities with densities more than 25000 /sq km are taken into consideration, mainly the city of Mumbai. 3. Only conventional materials, with technology to bring the construction cost down are considered. 4. Clustered housing, not single units. 5. This is meant only for Lower Income Group (LIG).



DEFINITION : AFFORDABLE HOUSING “ Affordable housing refers to housing units that are affordable by that section of society whose income is below the median household income.” In other words we can say, “Affordable housing is housing deemed affordable to those with a median household income as rated by a country, state, region or municipality by a recognized Housing Affordability Index.” A common measure of community-wide affordability is the number of homes that a household with a certain percentage of median income can afford. For the determination of affordable housing, a housing-to-income-ratio tool is commonly used. Based upon this, an accepted guideline for determining affordability in USA is 30% of a household’s gross income. Canada switched to a 25% rule from a 20% rule in the 1950’s. In the 1980’s, this was replaced by a 30% rule. In India, various state and local authorities use different criteria as per the socio-economic and other factors of that region. But generally it is 40% rule in India. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) considers affordable housing if one has to spend maximum 25% on it. More than price and availability, income is the primary factor in affordable housing. Understanding affordable housing challenges requires understanding trends and disparities in income and wealth. Housing is often the single biggest expenditure of low and middle-income families. For low and middle income families, there house is also the greatest source of wealth. The most common approach to measure the affordability of housing has been to consider the percentage of income that a household spends on housing expenditures. Thus affordability is a relative term linked to one’s income, expenditure, savings, liabilities and commitments, and primarily disposable income.







CURRENT HOUSING SCENARIO : Housing is one of the basic human needs along with food, clothing and education. Notwithstanding the rapid stride in the field of building technology, providing shelter to the teeming millions at affordable cost remains a distant dream in developing countries across the globe. India, too, is presently passing through a phase of acute housing shortage. As per 2011 census, the country had a population of 1,210.98 million, out of which, 377.10 million (31.16%) lived in urban areas. During 2001-2011, the urban population of India grew at a CAGR of 2.8%, resulting in the increase in level of urbanization from 27.81% to 31.16% .

A Slum-settlement at Dharavi , Mumbai This presents a very complicated picture of urban India. Most of the large towns and cities in India are characterized by the large scale migration of poverty stricken people from villages and smaller towns, overcrowding encroachment of available open space by squatter resulting in environmental degradation. With rapid urbanization and population, the number of slums and shady towns has been proliferating in the major Indian cities at an alarming rate. Most of these people cannot hope to afford the cheapest house available in the urban market. The spiraling costs of land and building materials have further aggravated the problem of housing by widening the gulf between the demand and availability of housing units at affordable cost. The number of metropolitan cities with population of more than 40 lakhs has gone up from 4 in 2001 to 8 in 2011. Recent decades

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have seen the fastest rate of urban growth in modern times. Also, these cities have the largest chunk of total urban population of the country. The percentage of households living in one-room dwelling units in 1991 was 77% in Mumbai, 57% in New-Delhi, 67.6% in Kolkata, 65% in Pune , 59.6% in Ahmedabad and 53.6% in Chennai. As per 2011 census, the country had a population of 1,210.98 million, out of which, 377.10 million (31.16%) lived in urban areas. During 2001-2011, the urban population of India grew at a CAGR of 2.8%, resulting in the increase in level of urbanization from 27.81% to 31.16%. This growing concentration of people in urban areas has led to problems of land shortage, housing shortfall and congested transit and has also severely stressed the existing basic amenities such as water, power and open spaces of the towns and cities. According to estimates of the Technical Group constituted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA), the urban housing shortage in the country at the end of the 10th Five-Year Plan was estimated to be 24.71 million for 66.30 million households. The group further estimated that 88% of this shortage pertains to houses for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and another 11% for Lower-Income Groups (LIG).For Middle- and High-Income Groups (MIG and HIG), the estimated shortage is only 0.04 million.

Source: Report of the Technical Group (11th Five Year Plan: 2007-12) on Estimation Of Urban Housing Shortage.

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NEED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING : Housing affordability is more than just a personal troubled experience by individual households who cannot easily find a place to live. Lack of affordable housing is considered by many to have negative effects on a community’s overall health. Lack of affordable housing is making low-cost labour scarcer and is leading to increase in demands on transportation systems since workers travel longer distances between their jobs and residence. In large metropolitan areas where housing prices are high, lack of affordable housing places local firms at a competitive disadvantage. Workers have to face fewer housing choices if prices rise to non-affordable levels. Variations in affordability of housing between areas create labour market impediments.

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The current definition of luxury in our country is very different from what was perceived a few decades ago. It is actually a reverse scenario nowadays. Several items that were considered luxurious to possess like the cell phones, computers etc are now easily available, whereas the basic amenities of survival such as housing, clean water and air, have now become difficult to attain. The economic condition of the country also largely depends upon the livng standard of the people inhabiting it. No true development can be achieved without fulfilling these basic requirements.

It has been observed that people staying in slum dwellings in ,Metropolitan cities belong not just to the economically weaker sections of the society but also from the Lower Income Groups.

Almost all the houses in slums in large cities are in bad and poor conditions. These houses are inadequately ventilated. The designs are such to afford bare shelter, leading to acute

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congestion. Private toilets do not exist in the majority of these slums and even common toilets are available only in a few numbers. People defecating in the open is, besides being an environment nuisance, creates great discomfort for the women of the locality. These houses do not have individual water supply. A number of studies have shown that the unhygienic slum environments make slum dwellers more susceptible to diseases like respiratory diseases, malarial fever, tuberculosis etc. Therefore, proper housing facilities that are affordable to this section of society are need of the hour.

REASONS BEHIND CURRENT CRISES : There are certain factors behind the poor housing scenario in the metropolitan regions of the country. Some major factors that led to the present housing scenario are as under : 1. 2. 3. 4.

Wrong implementation of the policies framed by the government. Lack of political and legislative will to reform the housing sector. Building bye-laws have too many loop holes and are too easy to manipulate. Inadequate land use planning, leading to disproportionate settlements in metropolitan cities. This is the most important factor that has led to the current infrastructural crises in the metropolitan cities in the country.

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Mountains of research over the last several decades show that how we get around and how much physical activity we get are closely linked with the built environment of the neighborhoods where we live. This means that the health, economic, and environmental benefits associated with active travel and transit are place-based and that affordable housing in walkable, location efficient places needs to be thought of as a critical component of planners’ efforts to provide safe, healthy, and equitable transportation systems. Affordable housing is also helpful in bringing the downtrodden into the organized sector and mainstream. This will help in improving the economic conditions of the urban poor and improve their living standards.

AIMS and OBJECTIVES : Following are some of the desired outcomes that we aim to achieve: 1. To provide proper accommodation to urban LIG at affordable rates. 2. Maintain socio-cultural environment of the society and find ways to eliminate the class divide that arises due to bad planning. 3. To keep the maintenance cost of the housing units to the minimum. The housing should be affordable not just by construction but also by its functioning. 4. To cater to the housing shortage of large metropolitan agglomerations. 5. Reduce the congestion in the metropolitan areas.

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LAND-USE AND PHYSICAL PLANNING FOR HOUSING Land is one of the important prerequisites for planning. No housing is conceivable without land. In several developing countries, including India, there has been increasing pressure on the urban land over the past few decades. Large influx of the rural population has migrated to the urban regions and this urbanisation has enormously increased the pressure on demand for housing in these cities. There is also huge increase in the density of population in these cities. Supply of serviceable land at affordable prices is critical input for housing activity. This, along with other economic factors, has led to unwarranted increase in land price and housing costs. The exclusion of the majority of the poor from the formal market, and their inability to build or require legal shelter has led to the proliferation of settlements and unauthorised colonies.

Planning of urban land: In year 1894, the central land acquisition act was introduced by British government. The main purpose of this act was to house the military and civilian settlements by adjoining the few urban settlements and to establish new towns. This act, however, envisaged mainly private site development, while public development was restricted to the provision of infrastructure and social amenities. This led to the inadequacy of the serviced land in most of the large cities, leaving large chunk of vacant land along with high density areas leading to the growth of unhygienic chawls in and around industrial and commercial areas. In 1958, the town and country planning organisation (TCPO) envisaged a scheme of land use classification to achieve a standardisation I the usage of terms and categories. In conducted land use pattern of various cities and towns and plans were prepared on the basis of population projection. But not many of the plans could become fully operational due to inadequacy in the organizational and legislative support. With a view to augmenting availability of land for development purposes, the government of India enforced ULCRA, which was basically aimed at preventing concentration of urban land in a few hands, with a view to bringing about an equitable distribution of land in favour of the urban poor. Under the act, the owner had to surrender in excess of 500 sq. meters to the government at pre-determined rates and the same land was to be used for housing the poor. But the motive behind the act failed miserably. Thousands of hectares of the surplus land that the government proposed to acquire under the act was caught in the never-ending loop of court litigations.

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Inadequate land-use in Mumbai has lead to illegal settlements and created class divide.

The failure of these plans was attributed to the way they were implemented as well as the loop holes in the bye-laws. In the absence of clear-cut policy on land use, values of land have been skyrocketing in large cities. Due to this, the land prices in urban areas have increased steadily but in different rates in different urban centres as also in different localities within the same city. The concern with land prices mainly stems from its impact on residential property prices especially its impact on the lower income group. This has been observed that in metropolitan cities, the number of people who cannot afford one-room pucca house increases with increase in land prices. Since the main reason behind the congestion in cities is the inadequate land use, the land prices can be kept in check by increasing the supply of developed land amongst the people of different income groups. Therefore, while development of affordable housing colonies; a combination of various income groups is beneficial.

Building bye-laws : Building bye-laws are intended to regulate the orderly growth of towns and cities, and tonsure safe and sound building construction. As a rule, any housing plan should conform to the building bye-laws of the area. In certain cases, building bye-laws do not cater to the increasing needs of the community. For vast peripheral rural areas around metropolitan cities, there has been no proper town planning legislation or bye-laws to govern the planning and construction activities. This has resulted in simultaneous growth of regulated and haphazard

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construction activities in most of the large cities. In course of time these peripheral construction get accommodated in urban agglomeration. Such constructions pose the problem of maintenance and provision of environmental facilities. The building bye-laws framed by the municipal authorities and other civic authorities, which are in-charge of their implementation, are by and large outmoded resulting in uneconomical use of land and constructions. As per Indian standard code for low cost housing in metropolitan urban areas, some of the major building bye-laws are as under : 1. Minimum frontage of the plot shall be 3.6 metres in width. 2. Density norms : a. Plotted development - 65-120 plots per hectare. b. Mixed-development - 125-150 dwelling units per hectare. 3. Height of the building shall not exceed 15 meters. 4. No need to provide lifts. 5. Lower income group housing shall be preferably ground plus one floor. 6. Min. Height of habitable rooms shall be 2.6 meters.

RESIDENTIAL DENSITIES : The following densities are generally considerd as optimum :     

Single storey house: 50-65 houses per gross hectare Two storeyed house: 50-65 houses per gross hectare Three storeyed house: 50-65 houses per gross hectare Four storeyed house: 50-65 houses per gross hectare Five storeyed house: 50-65 houses per gross hectare

If the above densities are adhered to and layouts are prepared by qualified townplanning agencies, it may be feasible to ensure adequate open spaces, wide roads, parks and other sites for communal facilities consistent with land use economy. To conclude, inadequate availability of land and its high prices due to a variety of legal and administrative constraints is leaving vast numbers of households with no alternative but to illegal settlement on poorly-serviced land, or overcrowding in poorly-serviced dilapidated structures. Moreover, the rising values of land under pressure of urbanization and population growth make it difficult for the public authorities to acquire land for social housing programmes.

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For ensuring speed and economy in construction, one of the practical solution to the problem of meeting housing requirements of masses in the present context will be to go in for adoption of appropriate low-cost construction techniques involving adoption of partial prefabrication employing the use of pre-fabricated building components of such size and weight which could be fabricated at the construction site or in industrial production units; economic walling systems etc. There is a vast scope of reducing the housing cost by the use of various materials and new techniques. But it is a very vast subject in itself altogether. In this dissertation, we will be discussing only the conventional materials used in the industry nowadays, along with the techniques applied on them to reduce the overall cost.

MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY : 1. PREFABRICATED BUILDING SYSTEMS : Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site, and transporting complete assemblies or sub-assemblies to the construction site. The term is used to distinguish this process from the more conventional construction practice of transporting the basic materials to the construction site where all assembly is carried out. In prefabricated construction, as the components are readymade, self supporting, shuttering and scaffolding is eliminated with a saving in shuttering cost.

APPPLICATION : IN WALLS – In the construction of walls, rammed earth, normal bricks, soil cement blocks, small, medium and room size panels etc of different sizes are used. However, bricks continue to be the backbone of the building industry.

IN FLOOR AND ROOF : structural floors/roofs account for substantial cost of a building in normal situation. Some of the prefabricated roofing/ flooring components found suitable in many low cost housing projects are : 1. Precast RC planks , 2. Prefabricated brick panels 3. Precast RB curved panels 4. Precast concrete panels 5.precast hollow slabs 6l panel roofing. Advantages of prefabricated buildings are as follows: 1. In conventional methods, the shuttering gets damaged due to its repetitive use because of frequent cutting, nailing etc. On the other hand, the mould for the precast components can be used for large number of repetitions thereby reducing the cost of the mould per unit.

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2. In prefabricated housing system, time is saved by the use of precast elements which are casted off-site during the course of foundations being laid. The finishes and services can be done below the slab immediately. While in the conventional in-situ RCC slabs, due to props and shuttering, the work cannot be done, till they are removed. Thus, saving of time attributes to saving of money. 3. In precast construction, similar types of components are produced repeatedly, resulting in increased productivity and economy in cost too. 4. Work at site is reduced in this type of construction, thereby increasing the quality of the construction.

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2. .Monolithic Concrete Construction System using Plastic Aluminium Formwork  In this system, in place of traditional RCC framed construction of columns and beams; all walls, floors, slabs, columns, beams, stairs, together with door and window openings are cast-in-place monolithically using appropriate grade of concrete in one operation. The specially custom designed modular formwork made up of Aluminium/ Plastic/Aluminium-Plastic Composite is easy to handle with minimum labour & without use of any equipment. Being modular formwork system, it facilitates in rapid construction of multiple/mass unit scale.  Thickness of the wall is generally 100 mm with the centrally placed reinforcement. Therefore, adequate cover is likely to be maintained, as a result high durability is achieved.  All electric and plumbing fixtures, lines have to be pre-planned and placed appropriately before pouring concrete in RC walls & slabs. Post construction alternation is not desirable.

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3.Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) Panel Building System Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) Panel also known as Rapidwall is made-up of calcined gypsum plaster, reinforced with glass fibers. The panel was originally developed by GFRG Building System Australia and used since 1990 in Australia for mass scale building construction. In recent times, these panels are being produced in India and the technology is being used in India. GFRG panels may generally be used in following ways: i)


iii) iv)

As load Bearing Walling – With cavities filled with reinforced concrete is suitable for multi – storeyed housing. In single or two storeyed construction, the cavities can remain unfilled or suitably filled with non – structural core filling such as insulation, sand, quarry dust, polyurethane or light weight concrete. ii) As partition walls in multi storeyed frame buildings. Panels can also be filled suitably. Such walls can also be used as cladding for industrial buildings or sport facilities etc. As compound walls / security walls. As horizontal floor slabs / roof slabs with reinforced concrete micro beams and screed (T-beam action). This system can also be used in inclined configuration, such as staircase waist slab and pitched roofing.

4.Factory Made Fast Track Modular Building System : Factory Made Fast Track Modular Building System comprises of prefabricated steel structure with different walling components. About 70 percent of the work is done in the factory with minimal usage of concrete, which enables system to deliver the building within a few days of work at site. The steel moduled are pre-fitted with flooring, ceiling tiles, electrical and plumbing fittings. The assembled steel modules are transported to the site for installation which is done using crane and other required machineries. Once all the components are assembled and erected at site, factory made 3–D Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) wall panels are fixed and concreting is done from both sides.

5. Soil cement block technology This method of construction of wall is by soil cement blocks in place of burnt bricks masonry. It is an energy efficient method of construction where soil mixed with 5% and above cement and pressed in hand operated machine and cured well and then used in the masonry. The overall economy that could be achieved with the soil cement technology is about 15 to 20% compared to conventional method of construction.

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6. Concrete block walling In view of high energy consumption by burnt brick it is suggested to use concrete block (block hollow and solid) which consumes about only 1/3 of the energy of the burnt bricks in its production. Concrete block masonry saves mortar consumption, speedy construction of wall resulting in higher output of labor, plastering can be avoided thereby an overall saving of 10 to 25% can be achieved.

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LOW COST INFRASTRUCTURAL SERVICES : These are basic infrastructure services that are cost effective to the human settlement. The basic needs of human settlements are ample clean air for breathing, potable water for drinking and efficient system of solid, sullage and waste disposal for hygienic and sanitary surroundings. Provision of infrastructural services catering to above basic needs of human settlements forms an integral part of any programme related to housing development both in urban and rural areas. Over past few decades many cost-effective technological options have been evolved in several developing countries in respect of supply of potable water, provision of sanitary latrines in homes, drainage of waste water, sewerage system, collection and disposal of garbage and improvement of environment in housing and human settlements. Brief description of the available cost-effective technological options which could lead to environmental upgradation in housing and human settlements is given below:

Low cost sanitation : The modern technological solutions offered for improving sanitation and environment for built-up areas and now settlements in metropolitan cities are varied in nature and magnitude. Water-borne sewerage represents a high level of user convenience but it is extremely costly and demands large quantities of trouble-free operation. Sanitation, more than any other infrastructure services, offers prospects for reducing costs through the use of alternatives to conventional sewerage. Septic tanks, despite their high costs, are widely adopted in several areas in various developing countries as the use of one single tank to serve many households has been found to reduce the cost of the service considerably. 

Pour-flush latrines used by sulabh international is also used to considerably lower the service cost in affordable houses.

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As with VIP latrines there are occasions when two shallow pits are more appropriate than a single deep pit. Double pits with pour-flush pans and water seals have been successfully used in India (Roy et al., 1984) and elsewhere. The pit design is the same as in the doublepit VIP latrine but the two toilets are replaced by a single water seal pan connected to both pits by pipes. An inspection chamber containing a Y junction is normally built between the pits and the pan so that the excreta can be channeled into either pit. Before a new latrine is brought into service, the inspection chamber is opened and one of the pipes leading to the pits is stopped off (a brick, stone, mound of clay or block of wood is quite satisfactory). The cover is then replaced and sealed to prevent gases escaping to the atmosphere. The latrine can now be used like an offset pour-flush toilet except that slightly more water may be required for flushing to prevent solids blocking the Y junction. Since one of the outlets from the chamber is blocked, all the contents of the toilet pan are directed into a single pit. When the first pit is full, usually after a couple of years, the inspection chamber is opened and the stopper blocking the outlet pipe removed and placed in the other outlet pipe. The cover is again replaced and sealed. The pan contents now enter the second pit. In a further two years the contents of the first pit will have decomposed and nearly all of the pathogenic organisms will have died. The lid of the first pit is taken off and the contents of the pit removed and disposed of or reused .After replacing and sealing the lid, the first pit can be used again if the stopper in the Y junction is returned to its original position. In this way, the twin pits can be used indefinitely, each pit in turn being used for two years, rested for two years, emptied and then used again. The positioning and shape of the pits is determined to a large extent by the space available. If possible, the distance between the pits should be not less than the depth of a pit. This is

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to reduce the possibility of liquid from the pit in use entering the pit not in use. If the pits have to be built adjacent to each other, the dividing wall should be non-porous. It can also be extended beyond the side-walls of the pit, to prevent cross-contamination. Alternatively, the pit lining can be constructed without holes for a distance of 300 mm either side of the dividing walls.

The double-pit pour flush technology is comparatively costly, but once installed, it lasts a lifetime.

2. SOLAR ENERGY : The concept of solar panels is gaining popularity in the developing countries owing to their ability of reducing the maintenance cost of the houses. They are very cost-effective and are also environment friendly as they minimize the usage of carbon emitting source of energy to a large extent. In countries like India, where solar exposure is abundant in most regions all throughout the year, the solar energy panels are nothing less of a boon to the urban poor.

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CASE STUDIES : In my dissertation I have attempted to find solutions to the housing problems through case studies of projects carried out successfully by the prominent architects in the metropolitan cities. In these case studies, emphasis has been put on the techniques implied to make the housing cost-effective and affordable to the lower income group.


 Designed by: Charles Correa and associates.  Situated in Navi-Mumbai , Maharashtra  Designed for economically weaker sections.  Use of shared spaces.

Even though this project was designed exclusively for EWS, the incredible use of shard spaces in this project to cater to the high densities of the region may provide planning solution to clustered housing that is applicable for any income level, including the Lower Income Group (LIG) . It is a model which draws on the immemorial patterns of Indian life while being related to the structure (physical and economic) of the New City. Belapur is at the foot of one of the brown valleys, separated from the harbour’s blue-green sea by the flat strip on which the grey workplaces are growing. Based on observation of traditional Indian settlements, Architect Correa has suggested that cities should be developed using a spatial hierarchy which ranges from the private world of the individual dwelling, through the ‘doorstep’, to the communal court (which traditionally contains the well or common tap), to the greater public space the maidan – the public promenade of the community. The geometry of Belapur is a direct interpretation of this syntax. The basic element is the house. For Correa ‘the territorial privacy of families is of primary importance, and he believes that, in the Indian climate, ‘open-to-the-sky space’ is essential for family life. So each house has a private yard in which is a lavatory block. Lavatories are paired to reduce service runs and three or four pairs of houses are grouped round courts which, in turn, open on to larger public spaces where, given the boundless energy of Indian entrepreneurialism, shops and other

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enterprises will doubtless quickly spring up. Correa’s community and spatial precepts are linked to socio-economic ideals.

Traditionally, Third World housing has been incremental and the incremental model is endorsed by Correa because it allows families to build according to their perceived needs when capital becomes available. Incrementality acts as a spur to producing housing quickly because people who build their own houses are highly motivated to complete the job. Correa hopes that his own, strong, architectural expression will quickly be overlaid with the accretions of individualistic additions. And he believes that, if the project really works, intrinsic Indian decorative sensibility for ‘low-energy high-visual’ effects will

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transform its rather Iberian first appearance. In India ‘even the poor people know that with things like mud, they can change their lives’. At Belapur, Correa has been at least partially able to put into practice his notion of equity plots. He suggests that India’s violent divisions between rich and poor could be largely overcome if house plot sizes were rationed to between 50 and 100 square meters. On such sites, the poorest could have a couple of trees, a lean-to and a tethered goat; the richest could develop town houses as sophisticated as those in London or Udaipur. The Belapur plot sizes are between 45 m2 to 75 m2 and family incomes of the richest are five times those of the poorest - a quite astonishing ratio when compared to the social/economic monocultures of Western housing estates.

Some of the main objectives achieved by this project are as follows : •

Very high density has been achieved by the use of shared spaces between the housing units.

Alternate to high-rise building solutions.

Community living has been encouraged that leads to human interaction in the society.

Proper light and ventilation is facilitated, further reducing the maintenance cost of the housing.

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Inner pedestrian pathways are available for easy commute within the locality.

Shared spaces concept is applied which can be highly relevant for LIG housing as well.


Designed for City And Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) by architect Raj Rewal Construction completed in 1998.

This building project by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) by Maharashtra state represents a complex, specifically Indian problem: creating accommodation for people on subsistence incomes. Raj Rewal’s practice was commissioned to plan 1000 accommodation units for residents on the edge of a large planning area in New Mumbai, a new area that was being developed at the time east of Mumbai old town. Despite a very low budget it was important not just to provide the bare essentials in terms of space, but above all to develop a home environment that was simple but of high quality. The difficult balancing act between finance and ambience could succeed only if inexpensive but lastingly effective building materials were used, and if the planning process was not too costly and led a simple implementation procedure. The Rewal practice designed the project as a high density structure. On the one hand it was because the area available was strictly limited, but also in order to achieve quality for the outdoor space that was effective in urban terms, yet reminiscent of a naturally developed village. These accommodations cells, or “molecules” (Rewal), now consist of one to three room units 18, 25, 40 and 70 m2 large. They have essential sanitary facilities and water tanks on the roof for a constant water supply, which is still by no means to be taken for granted.

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One important problem had to be solved: what reasonably priced and durable materials could make a lasting effect within a very tight financial framework. The final choice was a combination of concrete cavity blocks, exposed plasterwork, hand-made terracotta tiles and locally available rough granite stones for the base. This combination can endure the hard monsoon climate and will develop an acceptable patina. Electricity was also guaranteed for the entire complex, not just in the dwellings themselves, but in the public areas as well. Roads were moved to the periphery to allow for safe but reasonably priced footpath connections within the development. There is access on all sides from the outside, and it is easy for people to filter through the building groups. With the concept of a very dense residential quarter, Rewal accomodated the enormously high level of social interaction in everyday Indian life. People do not just live in their own homes, but are in intensive contact with neighbours, friends and fellow occupants almost throughout the day and night.

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Thus opening the homes up to the outdoor space is an important design consideration. Increased urban density is now not usually born of necessity, but an important concept for life in general. When developing urban space the quality of indoor and outdoor space have to go hand in hand, as life takes place to a large extent in the street. So when planning the chain of “molecules”, great emphasis was laid on the connections implied by communally used spaces. In India, a “village” consists of an accumulation of squares, courtyards, loggias, terraces and balconies where people communicate and make the exchanges that are so essential to life. Rewal considers these factors on a large scale and builds these zones into his architecture. He develops a type of building kit system with cubic basic elements. These admit a wide range of highly flexible variation as a design principle and can thus be used almost universally: courtyards turn individual blocks into chains, modules are set very close together, blocks with courtyards are grouped as quarters.

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The fact that the buildings all have different numbers of storeys contributes to this, being staggered from one to four levels, and so does the slope on the site. A sloping site dynamises and extends the space and the physical quality of the buildings and enhances the image of a living organism that seems as though it could be extended at any time. The totality of the planning is expressed in homogeneity, emphasizing the holistic design. There is no attempt to duplicate the individual dwellings artificially, no false sense of growth, which gives the architectural approach its complete credibility.

Some of the major characteristics of this project are as under : •

Roads moved to the periphery to provide safe but reasonably priced footpath.

Access from all the sides.

18,25,40,70 sq mtrs dwelling units size.

Maximum 4 levels of height.

Variation in heights of the buildings breaking the monotony in design.

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CONCLUSION : After going through the case studies, some major conclusions can be derived for the affordable housing : 1. To decongest the metropolitan cities, housing colonies for the LIG need to be developed in the peripheral regions of the city. 2. Affordable housing is best achieved when done in clusters as against application on single dwelling units. 3. The affordable colonies should be well connected with the city center by means of various transports to make the workplace easily accessible to the inhabitants. 4. In the housing colonies, the inner paths can be used as the means of pathways and pedestrian commute whereas main roads can be at the outer part surrounding the colonies. This provides easy accessibility as well as safety. 5. By the use of shared spaces, collaborative housing etc , housing shortage can be curbed without compromising with the living standards of inhabitants. 6. High density can be achieved by use of shared spaces without suffocating the inner environment of the housing society. 7. Intermediate open spaces are of utmost importance and shall be applied in design to facilitate the proper functioning of the colonies.

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8. Proper land-use planning of the region should be done and the policies must be strictly implemented so as to prevent the inadequacy in the development of land. 9. By application of low cost infrastructure services, housing cost as well as maintenance cost can be decreased substantially. 10. Mass housing targets can be achieved by replacing the conventional methods of planning and executing building operation based on special and individual needs and accepting common denominator based on surveys, population needs and rational use of materials and resources. Adoption of any alternative technology on large scale needs a guaranteed market to function and this cannot be established unless the product is effective and economical. Partial prefabrication is an approach towards the above operation under controlled conditions. The essence lies in the systematic approach in building methodology and not necessarily particular construction type or design. The methodology for affordable housing has to be of intermediate type – less sophisticated involving less capital investment.

REFERENCES : 1. 2. 3. 4.

Hand book on low cost housing by A.K lal P.S. Sreekanth , Blog on CIDCO housing dated June 14, 2015 Mr. Peter Davey , article On Belapur Housing dated June 14, 2015 Indian standard code IS 8888-1 (1993) Guide for requirements of low income housing. 5. Hulchanski – J David 1995, study on income based affordable housing . 6. P.k Adlakha and H.C Puri

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Dissertation report - AFFORDABLE HOUSING  
Dissertation report - AFFORDABLE HOUSING