Repair and Retrofitting

of Inhabitations

The housing question in India has been largely reduced to the question of shortage of houses and effort has been made to address this question through building new houses. From the experiences of the past several decades, it is clear that this strategy has not been successful. The government or the private developers cannot solve the housing 'shortage' issue through building new houses. There is a context for repair, retrofit, up-gradation, expansion and improvement of the existing housing stock (including slums, old villages, old inner city housing, housing stock of the 60s and 70s, etc.). However, the mainstream regimes (of policy and academia) have very little engagement with repair and retrofit. There are no courses, no standards, no tendering processes, no norms, etc. On the other hand, local practices have proliferated and there exists an ecosystem for repair and retrofitting. Perhaps an active realignment of the mainstream regimes is required to make the housing engagements focused and relevant. The pointers for the workshop here will be - What are the issues related to repair and retrofitting in different kinds of housing stock? What are the existing practices? What could be the policy dimensions? What could be the enabling systems (norms, standards, rules, etc.)? What are the capacity requirements? What is the role of architectural academia?