Urban housing: Standing Committee on Urban Development (2008-2009)

Housing is one of the three basic human needs, next only to food and clothing. It is an essential element in the overall socio-economic development of the country and its citizens, and for the satisfaction of social and cultural aspirations of the people. Construction activity accounts for more than 50 per cent of the development outlays. The problem of housing shortage confronting us today seriously threatens to upset the political and social order since with each successive Five Year Plan, the gap between demand and supply has only been widening. A major reason for the current scenario is the intrinsic equation between escalating urbanization and urban housing. As per the views of an expert*, it is expected that by the year 2051, the population of India would be almost equal in urban and rural areas, with major cities and metro cities attracting a major portion of the country