Bhubaneswar Incremental Housing: Nayapalli

Back To Projects

Focus Areas: Housing

This is an ongoing incremental housing project in Nayapalli, Dumduma, and Bharatpur in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The project, which was formally obtained in 2010, is financed through the Federation's revolving funds. 

Location: Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar, India


To date, a total of one hundred and two (102) units have been completed. Of these completed units, twenty-eight (28) are in Nayapalli. An additional eleven (11) are under construction in Nayapali.

Community capacity:

Surveys were carried out by local community groups with support from the Alliance. The Alliance was awarded baseline surveys for Government-sponsored slum upgrading programmes. Focus group discussions were held as part of the surveying process and ongoing Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) projects, which are constructed under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) housing scheme. These discussions are held regularly to review policies, implementation challenges and potential solutions. Use of community-based contractors and construction companies is becoming more commonplace since such projects began. 

A workshop was conducted in Chhattisgarh and Bihar on Strengthening Civil Society Voices on Urban Poverty Issues. The objective of the workshops were to:

  • Sensitise bureaucrats/politicians/NGOs/CBOs to issues of urban poverty
  • Encourage increasing discussion and debate: create more space for urban poor and civil society to engage with governments
  • Provide information on city wide planning processes and important role of communities in this scheme
  • Initiate community processes and community participation practice using NSDF/MM techniques of forming savings groups and Federations.


The Alliance has started scaling up activities across India (including areas where the Federation does not have a presence) and developing partnerships with other organisations such as Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) in Chhattisgarh and Bihar states for example. 


The experience gained in the implementation of this housing project highlights how members of the Federation and Mahila Milan, in the course of their regular and routinized interactions with the Government officials, come to learn about how governmental systems operate. In turn, this boosts their self confidence in dealing with other Government departments. Over a period of time there has been a noticeable change in the attitudes of some officials with respect to their recognition and valuation of community participation in development. 


SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$56,047.00

Resources Leveraged:

The project mobilises and leverages a range of resources  from government, the private sector and the families directly benefiting from the project, including land, infrastructure, finance and cost recovery. The percentage of funding from these sources is as follows:

  • Fifty percent (50%) from the Central Government of India  
  • Thirty percent (30%)  from the State
  • Ten percent (10%) from Local Governments,  and
  • The remaining ten percent (10%) is contributed by the community. 

The Alliance has also been able to leverage technical assistance from Architects without Borders (ASF) volunteers from Sweden who helped develop house typologies and the infrastructure layout with the communities.

State Subsidy:

In total, US$$3,666,667 has been leveraged from the State.

Costs recovered from community:


Sheela Patel (+91) 22 238 650 53 View Website
Project social media channels:

Project information updated: 10 March 2016

Project in depth

Detailed Information

The Bhubaneswar Incremental Housing project was started by the Indian Alliance of National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF), Mahila Milan and the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) in 2011. It forms part of the Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The scheme has been carried out in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha province, since 2009. Settlements included in this project are Dumduma, Nayapalli and Bharatpur. Nayapalli is the smallest of the three settlements, situated on private land owned by the community. There are roughly one hundred and ten (110) households. 


The provision of loans for the construction of houses. The housing typologies being constructed in Bhubaneswar are:

  • Simplex Type I: Ground structures
  • Duplex Type II: Ground plus one floor
  • Duplex Type III

Services, namely water, individual electricity and individual toilets, are also provided.

Community capacity:

Saving  is considered as one of the Alliance’s core activities, because it builds a community’s capacity to help itself (and other communities). At the same time it helps them negotiate with Government, and leverage other resources to improve their living situation. Mahila Milan savings groups conduct daily rounds, collecting whatever savings members have at the end of each day. These savings are recorded in account books, which are kept in the local office, as well as in books that are sent to the head office for data entry. Pooled group savings are given as loans for education, business investments, emergencies, and home upgrading and repairs. Through these activities, account holders learn to save for larger expenses and Mahila Milan leaders learn accounting and leadership skills.


The intention is to scale this project nationally as the project seeks to build capacity and develop robust strategies that have local effect and contributes towards the realisation of State strategies  for housing in this city as well as others.


The intention is to effect policy changes through dialogue between the Alliance and Government. It is part of an ongoing effort, in light of the experiences gained in the field by the Alliance, to convince the Government of India to spend more money on providing basic amenities like water and sanitation universally instead of benefitting a miniscule percentage of the urban poor by giving them formal housing. Policy discussions in this regard are ongoing.


SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$56,047.00. The full amount was used to cover capital expenses.

State Subsidy:

The project is subsidy based, with the State providing subsidies to the entire community and not individuals. Subsidy money from the Government is collected by the respective cities’ Municipal Corporation and released towards the cost of the house in phases and as per progress of construction work. In this project, loans disbursed will be recovered from the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporations. However, billing is often slow and there is a time lag between construction and payment from the Municipality.

Costs recovered from community:

Construction is undertaken using revolving funds. These funds are recovered from Municipalities at various stages of construction and there are, consequently, no costs to be recovered from the community. The Alliance aims to recover the full loan amount for this project. 

Architects without Borders. (2014). Experiences from India: A Collaboration between ASF-Sweden and SPARC. [Online]. Available:
Burra, S. (2012). Inclusive Urban Planning and Slum Rehabilitation: A Reflection on BSUP and Lessons for RAY. [Online]. Available:
Patel, S. (n.d.). Un-locking the Processes and Practices of Informal Settlements. [Online]. Available:
Patel, S. (2013). Upgrade, Rehouse or Resettle? An Assessment of the Indian Government's Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) Programme, Environment and Urbanisation, 25(1): 1 - 12. [Online]. Available:
Patel, S. & Mitlin, D. (2005). The Work of SPARC, the National Slum Dwellers Federation and Mahila Milan. [Online]. Available:,theNSDFandMM,SP&DianaM.,2005.pdf
SPARC. (2011). SPARC Annual Review 2010-11. [Online]. Available:
World Habitat Awards. (2013). Alliances for Building Capacities and Options for the Urban Poor: Experiences from Urban Odisha. [Online]. Available:

Funding Information



Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners

Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC)

National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) and Mahila Milan