ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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New Policy Paradigms and Actual Practices in Slum Housing

The Case of Housing Projects in Bengaluru

Recent reform programmes for achieving "slum-free" cities, like the Basic Services for the Urban Poor, signal a new integrated approach to slum redevelopment that combines housing, infrastructure and land titling. The new policy paradigm speaks the language of inclusiveness and efficiency, but its outcome has been far from ideal. This study examines two housing projects in Bengaluru to reveal how core elements of the new programme drive inconsistencies, even distortions, on the ground, impinging on the urban local body's ability to deliver on the ambitious aim of providing affordable housing in sizeable numbers. It argues that the new approach to housing projects is overlaid on the conventional "public housing built by contractors chosen by tender" framework and this poses fresh challenges to already beleaguered local bodies.

The author would like to specially acknowledge P Rajan with whose support the research was conducted in Bengaluru during 2009. She also thanks Vinay Baindur, Nithya Raman, Karen Coelho and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. Support for the research was provided by the DFID-IPAP project through the Action Aid Regional Offi ce, Bengaluru.

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