The government will launch a new rental housing policy in 100 smart cities, reported the Economic Times. It is expected that the first component of the plan will be rolled out in the next fiscal year.

Furthering the government’s Smart City Mission, the Rs 2700 crore welfare scheme will be aimed at the urban poor in 100 smart cities. The scheme would involve the distribution of rent vouchers to migrant population and the urban poor by urban local bodies. These bodies will also determine value of the rent vouchers on the basis of class or size of the household, along with the rent prevalent in that city. The rent voucher will be given by the tenant to the landowner, who in turn will redeem it at any citizen service bureau. But in cases where the rent is more than the voucher then the tenant would bear the cost and pay the cash to the landowner.

A senior official of housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry told the Economic Times, “The rental voucher scheme is being looked at as a means to complement the Prime Minister Housing for All scheme.” To make affordable housing a reality, the government is also looking to monetize the confiscated benami properties. In a bid to push this scheme, the ministry would prepare a Cabinet note.