Housing Policy

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HOUSING POLICY
One of the Policies, which not only speak, but prove the true commitment of Luizinho Faleiro to Goenkars, is the Housing Policy which he piloted as Housing Minister in 1993. The policy was in tune with Rajiv Gandhi’s visionary policy of ‘Housing for All by 2001 AD’. In “The Goa Housing Policy and Strategy 1993”, Luizinho envisaged a house for each Goenkar and his family, knowing fully well that unless every Goan has a house, talk about protecting Goan culture, heritage, values and way of life is all hot air.

Having experienced the hard life Goans have to endeavour, and knowing the bureaucratic red-tape involved in getting NOCs and chicanery faced by them, due to the presence of middlemen in land and housing, Luizinho brought in a single window system. The policy prescribed a time frame for disposal of land title cases. It also took into consideration the tremendous demand for housing due to growing population, the plight of the homeless and the need to expand or replace existing structures.

 

Objectives of Luizinho Faleiro piloted Housing Policy:
♦To motivate the homeless and inadequately housed, to have an accommodation by 2001
♦To provide access to finance, building material and technology to fund their dream home
♦ To encourage investment in housing and related infrastructure such as water and sanitation
♦ To encourage saving as seed money, and most importantly to develop and promote local materials and     local architecture
♦ To boost housing related ancillary industries in Goan villages.

The element of emphasizing local architecture and design emerged from Luizinho’s commitment and desire to preserve Goan lifestyle and heritage. The element of sourcing local material was to encourage rural technologies for affordable and low cost housing. The policy even proposed to incentivise those opting for Goan architecture, details of which were to be worked out later.

 

Finance: Much of ‘Housing for All’ depends on the critical aspect of finance. The Goa Housing Policy and Strategy 1993, showed a predilection towards the underprivileged of society and had provisions to make finance available to them. Subsidies to specific groups and housing programmes to deprived groups were envisaged.

 

Strategy: Unlike other policies which may not outline a strategy, The Goa Housing Policy and Strategy 1993, as the name suggests, inhered a two pronged strategy — the first part of the strategy was to have a district plan for North and South Goa; and the second part would include a plan for the 11 talukas of the districts.

 

Action Plan: In terms of step by step action plan, in the first phase primary data would be collected through field surveys for ascertaining the housing conditions. The data would then be tabulated and the needs in each taluka assessed for drawing up a plan of action.

Luizinho’s Housing Policy would be a good place to start to reassess the housing needs of Goans, even at this stage. The problem of affordable housing could get worse in the decades to come as more and more land is swallowed by Mega Projects, without much thought given to wholistic village, town and city level planning, be it in the Regional Plan or the Outline Development Plans which have run into widespread controversy of late, due to growing dissatisfaction among the people.