The Socioeconomic Effects of the Working Poor Moving to Permanent Dwellings

The Socioeconomic Effects of the Working Poor Moving to Permanent Dwellings: The Case of the Ashray Affordable Housing Pilot Project in India

Nicholas Burger
Italo Gutierrez
Krishna B. Kumar
Jill E. Luoto
Dhaval Monani
Kavita Raichura
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 50
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  • Book Info
    The Socioeconomic Effects of the Working Poor Moving to Permanent Dwellings
    Book Description:

    RAND Corporation researchers assessed the socioeconomic effects that moving into permanent dwellings—in particular, into the Ashray Affordable Housing Pilot Project in India—has on the working poor. Low-cost housing projects may help low-income workers and their families improve their living conditions, while still allowing developers to recover their costs.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8963-2
    Subjects: History, Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Executive Summary
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. SECTION 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The rapid migration of many millions of Indians from rural areas to urban centers in search of employment opportunities has resulted in a severe shortage of adequate and affordable urban housing, particularly for the poorer segments of Indian society. In 2007, the urban housing shortfall in India was estimated to be 24.7 million units, 90 percent of which (22 million) was housing for the lowest income quartile (Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, undated). As a result, many urban migrant workers are forced to live in undesirable slum neighborhoods, often without access to basic amenities, such as water, electricity,...

  10. SECTION 2 The Ashray Housing Project
    (pp. 5-8)

    The Ashray housing project is about 20 km (25 minutes by car) outside the city of Rajkot, a large, second-tier city in Gujarat. The housing project (referred to by the residents as a society) is at the end of a 1- to 2-km road (primarily gravel) off the main two-lane highway.¹ At the main road turnoff is a small village with basic shops (mostly from the service sector). Lining the main road for many kilometers near Ashray is a light industrial area, whose facilities make a range of products, including plastics and other materials, primarily for export. There is a...

  11. SECTION 3 A Mixed-Methods Evaluation Methodology
    (pp. 9-12)

    Our evaluation draws on observational data and was conducted ex post out of necessity and by design. That is, the Ashray housing complex was fully constructed by early 2012, and residents were already living there when our evaluation began in late 2013. Consequently, we have a nonrandom sample of people who have already chosen to live in Ashray, and extrapolating our findings to be representative of all low-income populations (some of whom would not make a similar choice) could lead to biased results. However, we believe that the depth of our collected data, both qualitative and quantitative, is valuable insofar...

  12. SECTION 4 A Profile of Ashray Residents
    (pp. 13-18)

    In this section, we begin by summarizing the profile of Ashray residents based on our survey. When possible, we draw comparisons to the populations of the state of Gujarat, as well as to all of India based on the National Survey Sample (NSS) data in order to put our sample’s characteristics into context. In the next two sections, by presenting comparative results between previous housing experiences and current experiences at Ashray according to our survey and focus-group discussions, we assess the impacts that moving to Ashray can have on residents.

    Table 4.1 contains some basic sociodemographic information on the 117...

  13. SECTION 5 Housing Amenities at Ashray and in Previous Homes
    (pp. 19-22)

    By first comparing the physical amenities in their current premises and those of their previous dwellings, we begin to assess the effect that moving into Ashray can have on residents. We again draw comparisons with findings from NSS data, where possible, to put our sample’s findings into context.

    Our survey asked residents about the amenities available and other characteristics of their homes and living arrangements at Ashray, as well as retrospective information on similar outcomes in the homes they left in order to move into Ashray. Table 5.1 presents information that compares the current living situations at Ashray and those...

  14. SECTION 6 Motivations, Benefits, and Costs of Moving to Ashray: Conclusions from Qualitative and Quantitative Analyses
    (pp. 23-30)

    The primary focus of our evaluation of the Ashray housing project was to understand what motivates households to move to Ashray—and purchase a home—and what benefits (or disadvantages) they reported that they derive from their housing choice. In this section, we address these issues in greater detail by drawing on data from our quantitative survey and from our qualitative focus groups. Combining data sources allows us to report richer texture and themes that emerge from our findings.

    Understanding why households chose to move to Ashray and (in most cases) purchase homes provides context for the benefits that residents...

  15. SECTION 7 Discussion and Future Directions
    (pp. 31-32)

    Looking ahead, the challenges facing India as its urbanization trend continues suggest an imminent need for innovative models that can meet the demand of a burgeoning class of many millions of low-income workers for affordable housing. In particular, the need for high-quality housing to offset further expansion of slum-style dwellings is clear, as is the need for such housing to be made affordable, whether via innovative financing models or innovative construction designs or some combination therein. The Ashray housing project may be one such model and combines an innovative model of construction (by capitalizing on cheaper land near industrial sites)...

  16. APPENDIX A Ashray Housing-Unit Floor Plans
    (pp. 33-36)
  17. APPENDIX B Focus-Group Discussion Guide Draft: Moderator Script
    (pp. 37-38)
  18. APPENDIX C Individual Questionnaire for Ashray Housing Residents
    (pp. 39-50)
  19. References
    (pp. 51-52)