Alex Tabarrok, Resident Senior Fellow, IDFC Institute writes about the vacant housing conundrum in Mumbai in his widely read blog, Marginal Revolution. He uses data from an IDFC Institute report on affordable housing, which has been co-authored by Sahil Gandhi and Meenaz Munshi.
"Government built housing is shockingly underused. In one centrally sponsored housing project in Delhi, for example, the government built 27,344 units and 26,288 lie vacant! Government housing has often been built far from jobs and public transport and in some cases the houses have been of low quality and lacking basic infrastructure... Government built housing, however, is only a small part of the housing stock. The bigger problem is that owners of private housing would prefer to see their housing capital lie vacant than to rent. Renting out a property is a risky affair in India due to perceived (often, correctly) difficulties of evicting tenants, particularly under the onerous regulatory framework of the various rent control laws that are still applicable across states in India. "