According to the latest official Economic Survey there is a shortage of nearly 20 million homes in India and a larger portion of this demand is for affordable homes. “The Union Budget 2016-2017 has played a major role in catalysing the growth for affordable housing. This is one segment where we foresee more action in FY 2017, given the inherent demand and the Government’s boost to incentivise it”, said Anurag Jhanwar, Head — Data insights and consulting head, PropTiger.Affordable housing has become the latest buzzword in the real estate sector after a slew of policy announcements made in Budget. From the benefits extending from 100 per cent deduction of profits, service tax exemptions to builders for undertaking affordable housing projects, to providing incentives for the first- time buyers, this segment has been given a strong favourable thrust this year. One of the main reasons is the reluctance on the part of private developers to get into this segment, basically because of low returns. Besides this the long wait for approvals, limited and expensive capital, high cost of land and construction material and a host of taxes also made low-cost housing an unattractive proposition. But with the government taking steps to give a boost to this segment in its mission to achieve Housing For All by 2022,developers all over the country are sitting up and taking note. “The developers had shifted their interest from this segment as there were no profits that they were getting and tax deduction will significantly benefit and encourage them in building low cost homes”, Sam Chopra, Founder & Chairman, RE/MAX India said. “One major change that one can expect now is that affordable will no longer be associated with poor quality and poorly designed habitations”, says Chopra, while pointing out that the reputed developers do not compromise on quality. “Our endeavour is to provide quality products to our customers at an affordable price,” says Brotin Banerjee, of Tata Housing. The group’s upcoming project in Bahadurgarh is equipped with a club house of over 20,000 sqft with a fully equipped gymnasium, swimming pool, an indoor badminton court, games room & a meditation room.