Puri Incremental Housing Project

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Focus Areas: Housing

This project involves the incemental construction of housing in Puri, a city in Odisha, India. This is part of a nationwide Government-sponsored slum upgrading scheme that is going to scale across the country. It is funded by revolved funds and is being implemented in Puri in three (3) settlements, namely Gokha Sahi, Mangala Sahi and Mishra Nolia Sahi. The selection of the three settlements (for slum upgrading) in Puri was based on a rapid assessment of the needs and demands of communities regarding housing and infrastructure. The project has the potential to be scaled up across more settlements.

Location: Gokha Sahi, Mangala Sahi and Mishra Nolia Sahi, Puri, India

Deliverables:

The incremental construction of houses in Puri. This was preceded by three (3) settlement profiles and sixty-four (64) individual household surveys have been conducted thus far. The houses are twenty-five square metres each and have one bedroom, a kitchen, living as well as a bath and toilet. 

The Federation, Mahila Milan, and the NGO staff hold meetings with local authorities and with the community members three times per month to discuss design layouts and what kinds of changes they would like to make. Construction will be done based on the designs to which the households have agreed.

Community capacity:

Through the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), communities are organized and encouraged to begin housing savings prior to construction to be able to meet the contribution, or to participate in construction through sweat equity. Communities in the three settlements in Puri have opened a joint bank account to collect savings, which will earn interest that can be used for maintenance of the houses in future. 

Scale:

The project has been implemented in three settlements. It has the potential to be implemented in other settlements across the city. There has already been a noticeable impact in surrounding regions in Puri city about quality housing. So the Municipality as well as communities where private contractors are incapable of handling or have failed to deliver quality housing are requesting the Urban Development Resource Centre (UDRC) and the Alliance to take up the balance work in four (4) other settlements. 

Impact:

The goal is to use the learning from these projects to produce urban and development practices and policies in Orissa that are inclusive of the poor and continue building the capacity of organized urban poor communities, further developing their skills to negotiate with authorities. While undertaking any initiative or project, the Alliance engages with the City, the State and the National Government on all the structural and procedural impediments to community participation. Thus, this project serves as a practical demonstration of the merits of community participation in the delivery of services; it  lays foundation for advocacy.

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$13,563.00

Resources Leveraged:

The Federation has managed to leverage financial resources from the Central, State and Local Governments for this project. This is possible because the project falls under one component of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) referred to as the Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP), which envisages the construction in-situ of formal housing in slums.

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy, which was accessed through the JNNURM, was provided by the three tiers of Government - Central, State and Local. They each provide fifty percent (50%), thirty percent (30%) and ten percent (10%) of project costs respectively. 

Costs recovered from community:

Households contribute Rs 60 per month in the savings accounts whilst households that are better-off contribute an initial amount of Rs 5000 for the maintenance of their houses. 

Sheela Patel sparc@sparcindia.org (+91) 22 238 650 53 View Website
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Project information updated: 24 March 2016

Project in depth

Detailed Information

The Puri Incremental Housing project covers three settlements in Puri, Orissa - one of India’s poorest states, with the lowest social and human development indicators in the country.  The Indian Alliance of National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF), Mahila Milan and Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) carried out a household survey of needs in 2007. Settlements were selected using this data, based on the needs of communities in relation to housing and infrastructure. The survey data was used as a basis for negotiation with the Municipality to tender under the Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), an urban renewal and development project. Subsidies were drawn from government for this project, under JNNURM’s Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) scheme. The Alliance is collaborating with local non-government organisation (NGO) the Urban and Development Resource Centre (UDRC) for this project.

Deliverables:

The incremental construction of houses in Puri. This was preceded by three (3) settlement profiles and sixty-four (64) individual household surveys have been conducted thus far. The surveys revealed that:

  • Gokha Sahi has a total population of one thousand three hundred and ten (1,310) individuals. Of these five hundred and ninety-five (making up one hundred and eleven households) are part of the Federation's target population. There are no individual water connections in the area. However, there are twenty (20) hand pumps, five (5) public taps, no sewerage connections and only fifty-five (55) households have electricity. The occupied land is owned by the beneficiaries. 
  • Mangala Sahi has one thousand three hundred and forty (1,340) residents. Of these, two hundred and twenty-five households (making up forty households) are part of the project's target population. There are no individual water or sewerage connections in the area. There are five (5) hand pumps, three public taps and only twenty (20) households have electricity. The occupied land is owned by the beneficiaries.
  • Mishra Nolia Sahi has thirteen households who meet the beneficiary's criteria.

The houses being built are twenty-five square metres each and have one bedroom, a kitchen, living as well as a bath and toilet. The houses are built using laterite stone for the foundation, brick and cement mortar, reinforced concrete for the lintels and a roof slab. 

It bears mentioning that although the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the Puri Municipality prescribed certain house typologies, SPARC Samudaya Nirman Sahayak (SSNS)  is using other house designs worked out by a group of architects from Architects without Borders (ASF) on the basis of community needs and plot sizes in Gokha Sahi. In Mangala Sahi and Mishra Nolia Sahi, the ASF typologies are being modified by Urban Development Resource Centre (UDRC) on the basis of community input and the plot shapes.

Community capacity:

Through SPARC, communities are organized and encouraged to begin housing savings prior to construction to be able to meet the contribution, or to participate in construction as sweat equity. To a large extent, the act of saving is a big step towards introducing households to formal financial institutions and increasing their financial literacy but also producing confidence within financial institutions and increasing their willingness to begin listening to communities. Almost all projects carried out under BSUP/JNNURM have been unsuccessful in designing with community participation, being contractor led and standing to be abandoned if not taken, with all their faults by SSNS type organisations.

Scale:

The intention is to implement the project in more settlements not just within the city but nationally as well. However, given the limited nature of the funds that the Government possesses only one or two percent of the population can benefit. Consequently, the Federation has been advising the Government of India to give less importance to housing (which is a private good) and more importance to public goods like water, sanitation and other basic amenities. The same Rupee goes much further in terms of impact when spent on basic amenities rather than housing. The Federation is hopeful that their advocacy in this regard will bring policy change.

Impact:

The positive aspect of interaction with NGOs / CBOs is that municipal officials become more sensitized to the circumstances and needs of the poor. On the policy front, such experiences build confidence in the idea of partnerships between municipalities / government agencies with NGOs / CBOs. Since the Alliance is engaged at the highest level with the Government of India, with Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA) experience in the field bring to light the innumerable difficulties and problems that are faced on the ground. In turn, dialogue over these problems can potentially lead to policy changes. It is part of our ongoing effort 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.

The experience has highlighted how members of the Federation and Mahila Milan, in the course of their regular and routinized interactions with Government officials, come to learn about how governmental systems operate. In turn, this boosts their self confidence in dealing with other Government departments and issues. Over a period of time we have seen how attitudes of some officials have undergone transformation as far as recognizing and valuing community participation in development.

Shri I.Srinivas, IAS, the Principal Secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Government of Odisha has introduced path breaking legislation in the Assembly for the rights of the urban poor to live in cities. It is expected that this bill will become law soon. This bill of rights represents the “Coming of Age” of the issue of urban poverty in a state where seventeen percent (17%) of the total population lives in urban areas (census 2011)- well below the top urbanized states of Tamil Nadu (48.5%), Kerala (47.7%) and Maharashtra (45.2%). While SPARC and the UDRC are not directly connected to this initiative, it is important to acknowledge the presence of the Alliance in Odisha for the past ten (10) years, which has led to good synergy and cooperation with other NGOs, government officials at City and State levels and civil society at large.

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$13,563.00 towards capital expenditure.

Resources Leveraged:

Under the government scheme, the estimated house cost is subsidized by funds from Central (50%), State (30%) and Local Governments (10%). An additional ten percent (10%)  is to be contributed by beneficiaries. However, as noted above, the Puri Municipality has agreed to take on the cost of the ten percent (10%) that is supposed to be contributed by the community. 

State Subsidy:

Subsidy money from the different tiers of Government  is collected by the respective cities’ Municipal Corporations  and released towards the cost of the house as construction work progresses. The costs incurred for community mobilization, participation activities and initial capital for construction are borne by SPARC/Nirman through bridge funding in the form of grants and loans, and revolving funds from the Community-led Infrastructure Financing Facility (CLIFF) amongst other funds.

Costs recovered from community:

No loans are given to individuals therefore there are no costs to recover as Government subsidies cover the cost of housing construction. The money is repaid by the Puri Municipal Corportation. The Alliance aims to recover the full amount loaned.

Balestra, F. & Goransson, S. (2009). Incremental Housing Strategy. [Online]. Available: http://www.dezeen.com/2009/05/05/incremental-housing-strategy-by-filipe-balestra-and-sara-goransson/
 
SPARC. (2012). BSUP Eleven Cities: NTAG Study of BSUP Projects to Examine Potential for Community Participation. [Online]. Available: http://www.sparcindia.org/pdf/studies/BSUP%2011%20City%20Review,%20SPARC,%202012_low%20res.pdf.
 
SPARC-SSNS. (2014). SPARC Samudaya Nirman Sahayak Annual Review 2013 - 14. [Online]. Available: http://sparcindia.org/pdf/ssns_annual_reports/SSNS%20Annual%20Report%2013-14.pdf
 
SPARC, NSDF, Mahila Milan. (2012). In-situ Housing Upgrading Projects in a Nutshell: Puri, Odisha. [Online]. Available: http://sparcnirman.org/in-situ-puri.html

Funding Information

Raised:

$13,563.00

Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners

Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC)


National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) and Mahila Milan