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Homelessness and Housing

Homelessness and Housing

The total number of homeless families in India (500,000) accounts for only 3% of the total number of families affected by the country’s housing shortage, according to the Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation.

Most of the 19 million households who require new housing live in substandard accommodations (as opposed to living with no accommodation at all).  This includes ‘obsolescent’ or ‘non-serviceable’ housing.

The question of where the urban homeless fit into housing policies, such as the recently announced Housing for All Scheme, can best be answered by research that illuminates the conditions of short term migrants who return home sporadically, people who left home for opportunities in the city only to slip into destitution and familiies who lost their homes to eviction.

IHRN curates research on these areas to better understand what shelter and housing options may address the needs of the diverse population of homeless people.

This Working Area topic was posted in A Human Rights Approach to Housing and Homelessness in India: A Note on Recommendations by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing

Topics posted in Homelessness and Housing:

Research & Reports


Author (Interview): Tarique Mohammad

Publication: Strengthen and Harmonize Research and Action on Migration (SHRAM), an initiative supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Allied Trust


Why are so many houses vacant?

Authors: Sahil Gandhi and Meenaz Munshi


Government Building Homes That Poor Do Not Want

Author:  Sukanya Bhattacharyya

Research & Reports

Framework for the Restoration of Persons in Institutions and Shelter Homes

Author: Koshish-Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Title: Framework for the Restoration of Persons in Institutions and Shelter Homes

Publication:  Koshish-Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Publication date:  June 2016

Policy Analysis and Documents

End-of-visit Press Statement by Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing in India

Author:  Leilani Farha


Housing for homeless women with mental illness

Authors: Vandana Gopikumar and Lakshmi Narasimhan

Research & Reports

Tolerated Encroachment: Resettlement Policies and the Negotiion of the Licit/Illicit Divide in an Indian

Author: Ursula Rao

Title: Tolerated Encroachment - Resettlement Policies and the Negotiation of the Licit/Illicit Divide in an Indian metropolis

Publication: Cultural Anthropology

Date of Publication: November 2013

Citation:  Rao, U. 'Tolerated Encroachment. Resettlement policies and the


Research & Reports

Rural Homelessness in India

Author: Julia Wardaugh

Title: Rural Homelessness in India

Publication: International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home

Publication Date: 2012

Citation:  Wardaugh, J. ‘Rural homelessness in India.’ (2012) Susaj J. Smith (ed) International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home



Research & Reports

Homeless in Neoliberal Cities: View from Mumbai

Author:  Swampna Banarjee

Research & Reports

Illegality and the Urban Poor

Author: Usha Ramanathan

Research & Reports

Better to Have Died than to Live Like This

Author: Kalyani Menon-Sen

Research & Reports

Aspects of Urban Poverty in Bombay

Author: Madhura Swaminathan