Housing is the prerequisite of better life after food and cloth. Being such basic necessity, it always attracted the attention of society and country to ensure the proper sheltering of its entire citizen and member. India since independence fighting to minimize the number of houseless people and to overcome with the problem of housing shortage but still as on the year 2007, shortage of housing units in India are 24.71 million which likely would be increased to 26.53 Million at the end of the year 2012.
Problem is worst to economically weaker sections and socially deprived communities which are forced to live in slums of urban areas or with ghetto condition. India’s urban population living in slum areas is about 15.2 per cent (approximately 42.8 million people) and 35 percent of the urban household live in single room dwelling unit with approximately 81 million people or 25.7 per cent of the total population living below the poverty line. The pace of urbanization is rampant particularly during the recent years due to growing opportunities in cities in the field of education and employment.
There is no such official data or report to know about the houseless population of Muslim in India which constitutes more than 172 million populations with 14 percent share. But considering their higher ratio among poor population of India, Muslim have larger share of houseless population. Therefore, housing to minorities in India is included under prime minister’s 15 points programme for the welfare of minorities. Conditions of Muslim houses are not much satisfactory. As per government report 2006, the proportion of Muslim households living in pucca (cemented with bricks) houses is lower than the total population in both urban and rural areas. The overall picture in living conditions is a mixed one. The Muslim population seems to be close to average in terms of housing structure, and better placed in terms of toilet facilities; it ranks, poorly in water availability, electrification and cooking fuel facilities.
Besides income and expenditure factor, Indian Muslim faced the discrimination in rent and purchase of property in the dominated areas of other communities where the public facility and infrastructure is better than Muslim localities. Fear of identity and communal violence stop to Muslim to locate in non Muslim dominated areas. Government sponsored report 2006 cited that “Muslim identity affects everyday living in a variety of ways that ranges from being unable to rent/buy a house to accessing good schools for their children. Buying or renting property in localities of one’s choice is becoming increasingly difficult for Muslims. Apart from the reluctance of owners to rent/sell property to Muslims, several housing societies in “non-Muslim” localities ‘dissuade’ Muslims from locating there.” Further other fellow communities in India are vegetarian and they don’t prefer to mix up with non vegetarian community. Lack of availability for housing finance from mainstream commercial banks to Muslim colonies is major vault in purchasing of properties and houses to Indian Muslim. The reason behind the denial of housing finance might be unorganized habitation of Muslim colonies and lack of proper address and structure but religious discrimination is also a factor that was pointed out in government report 2006.
Apart from such apprehension, Muslims are conscious in the selection of home/property and locality for certain choices with compliance to his religion like the structure of home, devoid of effigies, toilets direction, bedroom setting, adjacent to Masjid, close to Eidgah & graveyard, facility of Islamic library and others. Housing loan with compliance to Shariah like Ijara, Murabiha and Diminishing Mushariak would certainly attract the home Muslim to purchase the land or home with adherence of Islamic values.
Since the residential property market constitutes almost 80 per cent of the real estate market in India in terms of volume and has been growing at 34 per cent, annually. The property markets in India are moving from fragmented to organize and offering the tremendous potential. Indian Muslim’s economic condition and their expenditure abilities are improved in recent years which cause to increasing demand of Muslim friendly properties and housing projects in India. Certainly realty and construction are emerging sectors in India and hold tremendous potential for Muslim friendly flats, apartment, enclaves and townships. Further, investment in realty sector is best alternate for Muslim NRIs who avoid investing their capital in commercial banks due to interest.