New Delhi– The government will soon release the draft National Urban Rental Housing Policy after due consultation between the ministries concerned, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday.

Interacting with media on the sidelines of a conference on affordable housing organised by Ficci here, he said the rental policy will be out “quickly”, adding that “consultations on the rental policy are on. We have done (consultations) with the Chief Ministers, we need to do with some other ministers in the government”.

Puri, however, did not give any specific time frame for releasing the policy.

The policy, which is currently at a consultation stage and will be sent for cabinet approval after due diligence, is aimed at alleviating the housing shortage in urban areas by encouraging renting of homes.

On concerns that most slum dwellers are not interested in shifting to affordable houses as they are located away from cities and employment hubs, Puri said: “You have to develop the slums on an ‘as-is-where-is’ basis. It is no longer possible to lift people and relocate 40-50 kilometres away from the habitation and their work.”

So far under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the government has sanctioned nearly 4 million houses, out of the required 12 million houses by 2022, he said.

On the outlook for the real estate sector at the conference, Sanjaya Baru, Secretary General, Ficci, said the demand for housing had revived and he hoped that positive trend would sustain. (IANS)