UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Cooperative Housing Movement in India
The National Cooperative Housing Federation of India (NCHF) is the apex organization of entire cooperative housing movement in the country. It is engaged in promoting, developing and coordinating the activities of housing cooperatives since its inception in the year 1969. After its establishment, the NCHF has taken a number of measures for the organization and development of housing cooperatives across the country. In association with the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, the NCHF had promoted 20 Apex Cooperative Housing Federations, raising their number from earlier 6 to 26. A recent study of NCHF has established the fact that 11 out of every 100 houses which have been constructed in the country by all types of institutions in the public, private and cooperative sector have been facilitated by Housing Cooperatives.
Housing cooperative has been defined as a legally incorporated group of persons, generally of limited means, pursuing the same cause of meeting the common need of housing or its improvement based on mutual assistance. In such a cooperative, the membership is voluntary and control is democratic, and the members make an approximately equal contribution to the capital required. It has a strong emphasis on self-help and cooperative action, the basic characteristics of housing cooperatives. The activities of housing cooperatives in various states are regulated through respective Cooperative Societies Act and Cooperative Societies Rules administered by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies appointed by the Government. The national level cooperative organizations and the multi-state cooperative societies are governed by the provisions of Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act Rules.
A society is essentially an association of 7 or more people registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 – which is an All India Act and which has a stated purpose either in regards to the public at large or in regards to the common interest of the members. The members of a cooperative society, get together to promote the economic interest of their members.
The advantages of Housing Cooperatives are:
- Contrary to public housing, cooperative housing provides opportunities to its members to control the house designs at the planning stage. Maintenance of the estates is also in the hands of the members, reducing the maintenance cost.
- It incorporates high degree of participatory involvement of members and the housing stock created is more responsive to user’s needs.
- Project cost efficiency is demonstrated on account of the concreted efforts of members to keep overheads to a minimum and to effect economy in construction by other means as well.
- Members have a collective responsibility towards the repayment of loans.
- It is a small community by itself and can undertake several social activities.