In an important breakthrough for the rural homeless in Karnataka, the state government has changed eligibility norms for access to national and state housing support schemes for families with small pieces of agricultural plots.
Rural Development Institute’s Karnataka team had been lobbying for a change in the rule that needed an agricultural plot to be covert to housing category through a legal process before one could access housing support under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) and other state housing schemes.
With its strategic focus on secure land titles and homestead land, RDI has been working closely with rural families, especially women, to improve delivery and access to homestead plot scheme under the rural housing schemes.
With ears close to the ground, RDI team came across a large number of rural familes who had small pieces of land but no money to build homes. This spurred advocacy efforts to resolve this clause that stood as a barrier to arrive at a ‘win-win’ solution for the homeless families in need of homestead land.
Following meetings and conversations with the officials the housing corporation responded with a very supportive and positive approach. The announcement by Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited (RGRHCL) is been seen as a major advocacy breakthrough.
With the process being changed, delays in identifying and purchasing new land for house allocations will be reduced. For the beneficiaries it’s a double gain as the families will now be able to receive support for housing and also avoid the grind of raising money for conversion process needed earlier.
The circular allows beneficiaries to construct their house with state scheme assistance on their agriculture land without needing to legally convert it to housing purpose, this filling up a small form with the Gram Panchayat – elected village council.