Roof above the head: qualitative assessment of rural housing in India

The development of rural housing in a manner that results in adequate, quality shelter for inhabitants of Mahatma Gandhi’s “real India” is a challenge before the nation. What are the issues confronting rural housing development in India? The litany of its woes is endless. At first impression, rural housing is vulnerable to weaknesses in the delivery system for housing materials and services. Gradually, it dawns on the observer that the sector is deeply affected by the infrastructure deficit – roads, electricity supply, drinking water and sanitation. This report summarises the discussions the study team had with a number of officials, beneficiaries of government programmes and members of households in the selected villages spread over the country. The case studies summarised here are part of a larger study on sustainable development of rural housing in India commissioned by Holcim Limited.