In a first, Maharashtra government has proposed a state-sponsored housing scheme for transgenders, the first of which may come up in Nagpur.
Transgenders often find it difficult to find homes and are forced to live in slums. Maharashtra alone is said to be home to 20,000 of them who often end up living in despicable conditions, deprived of basic facilities. To address this issue, the state has proposed a housing scheme, under which flats of 450 sq/ft each will be provided in a housing complex in Nagpur city, as reported by PTI.
According to reports, the Social Welfare Department of the Maharashtra government has proposed an affordable housing scheme for the transgender community. "The Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) has ready flats available. It has agreed to sell them to us. Using the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) funds and taking rest of the funding from the state government, we will make these flats available to the transgender community. They will own these flats," said Dr Prashant Narnaware, Commissioner, Social Welfare.
The proposal that was made by NIT has been sent to the state government for approval. "If approved, this will be the first dedicated housing scheme for the community in the state," he added.
'We hear of shelter houses or hostel facilities for this marginalised community, but our scheme envisages that they will own the flats, own the complex and can lead a dignified life," Narnaware said.
“Once we receive the finance department's nod, the flats will be purchased from the NIT and we will start allotment,” he added.
"The issue they are facing is that nobody is ready to give them a house even if they have the money to buy or rent it,” said Narnaware, adding that regular conferences of representatives of the transgender community that have been held in the state have helped shed light on this issue.
“In these conferences, we hear a common grievance that they struggle to find a house or flat in a decent housing society," he said, adding that this leads them to being forced to living in slums.
Elaborating on the chances of the scheme drawing criticism for ‘segregating‘ the community, the commissioner said that it was the community members who suggested that the government consider setting up dedicated housing colonies where they can live and "even start businesses". While adding that the ultimate goal would always be that community members get assimilated in the mainstream society, but finding housing was a real problem for them.
"We too do not want segregation. They should co-exist with others, and this initiative is a first step towards it," he added.
Transgenders who want to own an apartment under this scheme will have to have an identity card and certificate issued by the government and need to pay only 10 per cent of the flat price. The government will pay the rest and also provide facilities to avail bank loans for the said 10 per cent share.
With inputs from PTI.
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