Urban Housing & Exclusion

 Amogh Arakali, Anushree Deb, Gautam Bhan, Geetika Anand, Swastik Harish | 2014


Housing is many things to many people. The National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy (2007) sees housing and shelter as ‘basic human needs next to only food or clothing’,1 putting makaan in its familiar place beside roti and kapda. The United Nations agrees, speaking of the ‘right to adequate housing as a human right however, the Tualifer— ‘adequate’—begins to push at the boundaries of what is meant when talking about ‘housing’. Adequacy here includes a litany of elements: ‘(a) legal security of tenure; (b) availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure; (c) affordability; (d) habitability; (e) accessibility; (f) location; and (g) cultural adequacy’.2 In the move from ‘house’ to ‘housing’, the materiality of the dwelling unit expands to include legal status, infrastructure, aesthetics, as well as the relationship of the house to the city at large.