Since 1991 with the advent of globalization and economic liberalisation, basic conceptual and discursive changes are
taking place in housing sector in India. The new changes suggest how housing affordability, quality and lifestyles reality
is shifting for various segments of the population. Such shift not only reflects structural patterns but also stimulates
an ongoing transition process. The paper highlights a twin impetus that continue to shape the ongoing transition:
expanding middle class and their wealth - a category with distinctive lifestyles, desires and habits and corresponding
‘market defining’ of affordable housing standards - to articulate function of housing as a conceptualization of social
reality in modern India. The paper highlights the contradictions and paradoxes, and the manner in which the concept
of affordability, quality and lifestyles are embedded in both discourse and practice in India. The housing ‘dream’ currently
being packaged and fed through to the middle class population has an upper middle class bias and is set to
alienate those at the lower end of the middle-and low-income population. In the context of growing agreement and
inevitability of market provision of ‘affordable housing’, the unbridled ‘market-defining’ of housing quality and lifestyles
must be checked.
Keywords:Affordability, Quality, Lifestyles, Housing, India.
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