Housing Shortage in India: Looking for a solution

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June 8, 2011 by Parthajeet

Post liberalization of India’s economy, the country has made much progress and has created a place for itself amongst global leaders. At the same time, India battles several issues at home and prime amongst them is the housing crisis. Various estimates point to a shortage of about 20 million housing units in urban and semi urban India. Different government bodies have launched various schemes to tackle this problem; however it is seen that the shortage only keeps on increasing, showing that such schemes are unable to keep up with the population growth rate.

In the multi-storeyed apartment block domain, several models have been tried and tested with a few successful models. However, when it comes to the single dwelling units, hardly and organized model exists and construction is done pretty much the same way it was being done 50 years back. Projectwell is a thinking organization and does substantial research and development in building technology. One such initiative attempts to create a system driven model to find a solution for this section of the housing industry; i.e. the single dwelling unit.

Projectwell has tied up with award winning Architectural Firm from Philadelphia, USA on a mission to find a solution which uses IT as a backbone. In-depth research has been conducted since early 2010, across several states of India. The research results have paved the way towards the design of a system which allows one to build a house in India at least 50% faster, provides thermal comfort, easily expandable and is sustainable.


The project has yielded what is now called the “India Concept House” or ICH. When one looks at the model, it is seen as a fairly simple model with an attempt to industrialize the production of the same to a logical level. The study showed that Indians are averse to living in houses which are produced in a factory and tests show that houses need to pass the ‘knock test’ from potential occupants. These and other typical Indian nuances have been taken into consideration while making the system industrialized. As am matter of fact, quite a few components of the modern house is already; albeit in a fragmented manner, produced in factories, but there has been no attempt to integrate all the various components.


A supply chain is being set up. The supply chain consists of various components of a house. Such manufacturers already exist in India and some needs to be augmented. A very limited number of components need to be industrialized and that is what this project has identified. But what is important is that a system is being devised which will lead to a organized form of supply chain management; a first for India in the housing sector.


A system driven approach in housing sector is possible only with the infusion of information technology. The robust IT backbone being planned will contribute at the following levels:

  • Supply Chain Management: This will have IT as the backbone, linking various suppliers, the buyer and the seller.
  • Sales and after sales servicing: For the first time in India, the sales and after sales process will be linked between the buyer, seller and a network of agents.


The day is not far off, when one could order a house from a computer. Although this is easily possible with the ICH, this will be a future development as the IP yielding customer is not the target in the current version of the ICH.


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