This paper provides a critique of the Indian Government’s programmes for affordable housing, namely the Rajiv Awas Yojana and Housing for All 2022. It analyses the efficacy of these policies in being able to provide the sections of the population who are unable to avail housing from the formal market, both through direct support and more importantly, in addressing the many distortions that have made the housing unnecessarily expensive, while taking away much of the value to consumers. It argues that while these programmes and policies are a major advancement over the previous approaches, they do not fully exploit the potential that is there in increased Floor Space Index (FSI), sensitivity of low cost housing development to exploiting locational value appropriately, to use of government land judiciously, to the reform of titles and squatter rights, and to more efficient land use changes. They are also constrained by an inability to distinguish between what the markets can be coaxed to deliver and where state intervention becomes necessary.

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