Times of India: "Free housing recycles poverty, say experts"


"Amid the series of announcements of free homes in the city for underprivileged segments, the very promoters of the concept say it is a bad idea.

Be it the allotment of two houses each to the child actors of Slumdog Millionaire, the frequent demand to rehabilitate pavement dwellers or the CM's declaration to rehouse all the slum dwellers of Behrampada whose homes were razed in a fire last week, the issue of whether the state can and should provide free housing has always given rise to a stormy debate.

Experts, who have devised such schemes, say free housing is a failed concept. From former chief secretary Dinesh Afzulpurkar, who devised the slum rehabilitation scheme (SRS), sociologist Neerja Mattoo, trustee of the Jai Ho Trust that donated homes to the Slumdog actors, to urban expert Prof R N Sharma, who has written a paper on the subject, agree that free housing fuels social inequities and "recycles poverty'', bringing in much less parity...." (for full article, click here)

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