Mar 312017

Rent Voucher Scheme 

The rent voucher scheme is yet another highly ambitious scheme aimed towards the downtrodden. At the 2017-18 budgets the government announced several schemes that were aimed towards the poor. With the rent voucher scheme, the government has once again targeted the lower middle class. This will not just help people pay rent but it will also help the landlords collect the rents on time.

Objectives of Rent voucher scheme

Basically the rent voucher scheme is an extension of the Housing Awas Yojana. These vouchers will not just help the poor but also the government. At this time when the government is striving hard to get a hold of all the benami properties, this scheme comes of good use. Another aim of this scheme is to alleviate the poverty. People will be able to save a large part of their cash which can help their future consumption.

Funds allocated to achieve the objectives

Today a large part of the population lives in rented houses. While the PMAY is taking care of the housing part and is working towards providing roof over head, the rent voucher scheme will make it easier for people to pay rent. According to 2011 census report, about 27% of Indians live in rented homes. But the ministry has already allocated Rs. 2700 crore for the first phase of its implementation in 2017-18. The government of India has targeted easing the renting provision by the end of 2021.

How will this scheme help?

  • The government shall give out rent vouchers which they can substitute for actual cash to pay rent. Those who are living under rented houses can register themselves to get the benefit.
  • Only those belonging to BPL houses shall be eligible for this scheme. Right now this scheme is only for the urban poor. So you need to produce the BPL cards to register for this scheme.
  • Once registered, you will get vouchers from the government. You have to present these vouchers to your landlord. He or she can then redeem these vouchers from a local citizen’s bureau.
  • These rented vouchers will be of fixed amounts. If your rent amount is greater than the voucher, then the rest of the amount has to be borne by the registrant himself.
  • The scheme will help the urban poor of the 100 smart cities across the country. The urban poor who live in these smart cities shall receive a fixed amount as rent voucher.

How is the implementation going on?

The government has asked the states to overlook the implementation of this scheme. The scheme is yet to be launched. However, the preparations for the implementation of this scheme is going on at a fast pace. Here are some of the aspects that need to be sorted out for its success –

  • The scheme is at present an extension of the housing for all scheme but the rural poor are not included in this scheme. Those urban poor who do not need the PMAY scheme because they are living in pucca rented houses, shall be benefitted.
  • The lower income groups and the economically weaker sections of the society will also benefit from this scheme. Under this scheme, the government might also provide rent itself.
  • Those houses that are built in the benami properties might also get rented. So those who are looking for rented houses might also find rent and shelter in the benami properties. They will be automatically eligible for this scheme.
  • It will be the responsibility of the Municipal Corporation of each state to implement this scheme. They will get the BPL card owners registered for this scheme provided they are eligible for the scheme.
  • A brief verification process will ensue to make sure that the person is eligible for the scheme. Once the verification is successful, the tenant can withdraw his or her voucher at the end of every month.



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