IE Thinc session today on better housing for migrants

Millions of migrant workers struggle with inadequate housing. Higher quality of housing is linked with favourable health, education and livelihood related outcomes. Decent housing improves the quality of sanitation facilities available for the family, improves health and enables children to do homework, thus raising learning outcomes. Housing also enables women to participate in the labour market. A home and its surroundings affect identity and self-respect.

The government estimates there is an estimated shortfall of 40 million housing units in India — 11 million units in urban areas and 29 million units in rural areas. An additional 26 million households in urban India live in informal housing, often with poor living conditions. In Mumbai, for instance, every second resident lives in a slum. The lack of affordable housing is at the heart of the urban crisis today.

What can governments, both the Centre and states, do to improve the housing opportunities for migrant workers? What role can India’s formal private sector — the bigger firms which have been doing well — play in boosting housing options? Are there any policies or initiatives at the intersection of the government, private sector and civil society that can alter the dynamics and present a potential inclusive affordable housing solution?

The sixth edition of the eight-part webinar series Thinc Migration by The Indian Express, which will go live Wednesday, will address these questions. Presented by Omidyar Network India, the panel discussion among the leaders from academia, private sector and civil society will examine the different ways in which housing for migrant workers can be improved.

This edition will feature a keynote address by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, followed by a panel discussion between Amita Bhide (Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences), Gautam Bhan (Associate Dean, Indian Institute for Human Settlements), Shrayana Bhattacharya (Senior Social Protection Economist, World Bank) and Manikandan KP (Institution Builder, Indian Housing Federation).

The session is being moderated by Udit Misra, Deputy Associate Editor, The Indian Express.

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