This report published by the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS) looks at the rental-housing arrangement for domestic workers through the assessment of 103 setups in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It examines the conditions of rental housing while also linking housing to livelihood, and it discusses the methodological frameworks of these systems. It dwells on investigating materials and the spatial dimensions encountered in the sample set of rental houses. Lastly, the report explores patterns of infrastructure, rent, and legality.
In the West or even among middle classes and wealthy Indians, a self-contained abode easily lends itself to becoming a house. However, the report states, this was not the experience of researchers when they examined the sites. Instead, they found “diverse living arrangements that straddled the distinctions of ‘inside the house’ and ‘outside the house’. The report adds: “Our immersion visits presented similar challenges of definitively concluding boundaries of a rental unit. The challenge was not only limited to spatial boundaries of a home, overlapping with those of other rental units but also extended to infrastructure and legal boundaries.”
A timely and useful report, it can be used by urban local authorities to implement improvement programs, labour organisations to better understand the housing problems of urban workers, and researchers to re-evaluate their views on low-income housing.