Monday, December 18, 2006

Free Housing in Mumbai: Private Philanthropy

From the International Herald Tribune:

MUMBAI: In this Indian capital of glamour and commerce, there is a city of high-rises and a city of shanties.

At one extreme is the growing number of towers housing the rich and the aspiring. At the other extreme is a multiplying labyrinth of slums, covering a third of the city and sheltering more than five million people in squalid conditions, with a shortage of water and toilets, a surfeit of disease and the constant odor of feces mixed with garbage.

But now a housing boom in this fast-growing economy is entwining their destinies. To make room for more high-rise buildings, investors are doing what was once left to philanthropists: giving slum dwellers free apartments.

Under an inventive government program in Mumbai, builders raze entire slum neighborhoods and use part of the land for tenements to house the original residents. The apartments measure 225 square feet — the size of a typical shanty. In return, the developer wins the right to build lucrative towers on the rest of the land and pays nothing but the cost of the slum resettlement.

So far, 100,000 such apartments have been built in Mumbai, housing 600,000 people.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home