From Serviced Sites to Peripheral Tenements: A Long-Arc History of Chennai’s Unaffordable Housing


Housing policies in India tend to reduce the urban housing challenge to a volumetric problem of increasing stock, particularly in the ‘affordable’ category, and increasingly by ‘crowding in private investment’. This standardised policy agenda has overwritten local histories and sociological understandings of housing as embedded in social relations. The singular focus on facilitating private markets in affordable housing is everywhere confounded by contextual factors that determine local geographies of housing, land markets and parameters of affordability.