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Affordable Housing: Reality or Myth


  • Chandigarh College of Architecture, Chandigarh - 160012, India


Objectives: The concept of affordable housing is new in India and still not clearly defined. There are so many myths prevailing about this concept, so there is need to define this concept in Indian context. At present the scope of affordable housing is limited to only construction cost of housing but there is need to investigate the affordability in its operation cost as well maintenance cost. Methods/Analysis: The concept of affordability is defined in the context of initial cost of house, its operation cost and maintenance cost as well its location from the work place of owners. The various myths prevailing in the name of affordable housing among various stake holders have also been discussed. It has also been discussed to reduce the cost of housing though various parameters such as design approach, construction management and appropriate building materials and technology. Findings: The affordable housing is not only targeting to poor people but it also includes the middle income group having income up to 10 lacs per annum. It has been also find out that affordable housing is not similar to low cost housing, the difference lies in its approach. The major focus of low cost housing is to reduce the cost by use of low end technology and low cost materials even with compromise in facilities while affordable housing is not limited to this concept, it can afford to use high end technology and hightech materials too. The construction cost of affordable housing could be reduced through compact planning, sharing of the common facilities among various housing, sharing of the services and structure between the units of the same housing, sustainable building materials, appropriate technology and construction management. The operation cost of housing could be reduced through design process such as orientation of blocks and units, building envelope design, landscaping, road and parking etc. Applications: The role of architectural design process is most important in reducing the operational cost of affordable housing along with construction cost to certain extent.


Appropriate Technology, Construction Management, Design Approach, Low Cost, Operation Cost.

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