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Accessibility of various housing programmes to different income groups

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The quantum of assistance from the various institutional sources of housing finance is not only limited but is also accessible to a small proportion of households belonging to the relatively better off segments of the population.  The survey of homeowners in Cochin found that the share of institutional finance improved as the income increased.


The accessibility of the lower income groups to housing/plots provided by Cochin Development Authority was also quite limited.  The Cochin Development Authority has been heavily criticized for its bias towards providing a greater (in relation to their share in total population) percentage of plots and housing to the higher income groups. 


The high-income groups in Cochin comprise only about 10 percent of the population but were allocated 29 percent of the plots.  If one were to include the auctioned plots, which also go the High Income Groups (HIGs), the share of the HIG in the total plot allocation increases to 38 percent.  The low-income group’s share in plots was almost 22 percent less than their share in the population.  Due to the allocation of plots to higher income groups, the actual proportion of low-income beneficiaries will be even smaller.  When considering the investments into Real Estate Cochin City and its suburbs are dominated by those businessmen and entrepreneurs and not by the middle class people with nominal incomes.


It would seem that the ‘Ownership Housing Programme’ of the state government would have benefited richer people among the low-income groups and higher income groups in the population.  The groups, which could not afford housing out of their own resources, had no access to credit and were not beneficiaries of Cochin Development Authority’s housing schemes.  These groups would either opt for rental housing or go for cheaper housing in unauthorized colonies.  In fact, the growth of unauthorized colonies and squatter settlements might be one of the more important variables explaining the growth of home ownership in Cochin.

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