The Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) scheme is under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package. It was introduced by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) for urban migrants/poor as a sub-scheme under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and was launched in 2020.
Its objective is to provide ease of living to urban migrants/poor in the industrial sector as well as in non -formal urban economy to get access to dignified affordable rental housing close to the workplace. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was reverse migration of poor urban migrants across India to their villages. The urban migrants stay in slums, informal settings, and unauthorized colonies to save the cost of housing. They require decent, clean rental housing at affordable rates which are closer to their work sites.
Two models under the scheme are –
1)Utilizing existing Government funded vacant houses to convert into ARHCs through Public-Private Partnership or by public agencies, and
2) Construction, operation, and maintenance of ARHCs by public or private entities on their available vacant land
Government-funded houses in major cities will be converted into affordable rental housing accommodations or complexes by PPP mode. The Government of India will also provide incentives to businesses, companies, state governments, agencies, and associations to provide low-rent housing facilities to their workers.
Complexes will be a mix of single and double bedroom dwelling units and dormitories of 4 or 6 beds and will include all common facilities. This will be exclusively used for rental housing for a minimum of 25 years.
The scheme will be implemented in all Statutory Towns as per Census 2011 and towns subsequently notified, Notified Planning Areas in areas of Development/ Special Area Development/Industrial Development Authorities.
Operation of the beneficiaries
Beneficiaries for the schemes are urban migrants and the poor from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG) categories. These include labor, urban poor (street vendors, rickshaw pullers, other service providers), industrial workers and migrants working with educational or health institutions, hospitality sector, market and trade associations, long time tourists, visitors, students, or any other persons of such a category. Preference will be given to persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Widows and Working women, Divyang and minorities, subject to beneficiaries being from the EWS or LIG segments as provisioned by the Government.
To get the houses on rent, migrant workers or urban poor have to fill out the ARCH Application Form which is available on the official website of MoHUA or the website arhc.mohua.gov.in.
These complexes will help to ensure that urban migrants /poor have a dignified living environment closer to the workplace at affordable rates, unlock existing vacant housing stock and make them available in urban spaces. This will also help to boost new investment opportunities and promote entrepreneurship in the rental housing sector by encouraging private and public entities to efficiently utilize their vacant land available to develop more complexes. It will also help to achieve the overall objective of Housing for All.