Building Property Inclusivity: A report on Sector Evolution & Opportunities for funders

By Team Omidyar Network India and Sattva Consulting

In India, property – particularly land & housing – continues to be of enormous economic, social, and symbolic relevance. Access to land is fundamental for the livelihoods – and therefore to the lives – of a vast majority of low-income families, especially in rural and tribal areas. On the other hand, an increasing body of evidence suggests that access to secure and affordable housing, has significant positive impacts on the health, education, and economic prosperity of poor urban families. et, the proportion of rural households in India that were marginal or landless rose from ~80% in 2002to ~85% in 20182 and as per MoHUA, the urban housing shortage across India was at ~19 million houses between 2012-20173.

Poverty and lack of access to property are inextricably linked. It is not surprising then, that the issues of land and particularly housing dominated people’s lives and public narrative even through the extraordinary events of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the opposite is equally true. Property as an asset, in the hands of low-income families, not only positively impacts them during their lifetime but it also serves as a potential pathway to intergenerational economic prosperity, providing families with the opportunity to catapult themselves out of the poverty cycle, irreversibly.

Investing in an enabling ecosystem that is equipped to provide this opportunity to every Indian, has been at the heart of Omidyar Network India’s Property Inclusivity portfolio for over a decade, and we have had the privilege to work with and learn from investee partners who have made this journey possible. This report looks back on a decade and reflects on how the sector has evolved, what have been key areas and enablers of progress, what remain areas of opportunity. It also considers learnings from ONI's investments over the past ten years – individually and collectively. The evolution journey of a sector can be described across a spectrum starting from recognising and forging a common understanding of the risks, to building consensus on solutions, and finally, scaling up solutions to address the risk. We describe this journey through a five-stage framework - ‘Latent’, ‘Nascent’, ‘Emerging’, ‘Mainstream’, and ‘Transformed’.

You can either read the report below or download the report as a PDF here. Download the Executive Summary of the report here.