CREDAI’s Budget wish list boosting affordable housing

affordable housing
Realtors' apex body CREDAI in its budget wish list has demanded that banks should fund developers to buy land for development of affordable housing projects. It has also stated that the definition of affordable housing should be same across all the legislations. Land comprises 40 percent of the overall project cost. With the advent of RERA, one cannot sell until all approvals are received, which means that one needs funding either by promoter equity or private equity. Land funding is typically done by NBFCs or private equities, and the cost to developers is as high as 25 percent. The support of the banking system is needed to bridge this gap. Funding of land by commercial banks was permitted by RBI until 2008 and should be resumed for affordable housing. CREDIA, with a membership of over 10,000 developers, also pitched for uniform definition of affordable housing. Currently, Section 80 IBA of Income Tax Act, GST Act, DEA Notification dated 14.11.2017, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in respect of CLSS and RBI adopt definitions of affordable housing which vary among themselves. It suggested that affordable housing definition drawn from CLSS (Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme) should be made universally applicable across all agencies of the government. Under the CLSS, affordable housing comprises units have a carpet area not exceeding 60-sqm within the cities of Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, and 120-sqm elsewhere. CREDAI also demanded that income tax rebate should be increased for payment of principal and interest on home loan.

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