Is 'moving up' Really 'moving up'?: Using Lived Experiences to Evaluate Slum Redevelopment Policy in India
Uchita Vaid (Cornell University)
This longitudinal study of slum redevelopment policies in India examines the consequences of redevelopment on people’s housing environments, its effects on health and well-being, and the lived experiences of relocated residents. In 2015, the Government of India announced Housing for All policy, which aims to provide every citizen access to adequate housing by 2022. A major component of this policy is in-situ slum redevelopment wherelow-rise public housing is built at the existing site of slum communities. This merits a psychosocial evaluation to understand the consequences of redevelopment practices; how they shape the living environments of people, and how they impact people’s overall quality of life and well-being. Such an evaluation can reveal insights about how policies operate within the realities and constraints of everyday life. Conducting this evaluation is especially significant in the Indian context, where these policies affect approximately 100 million people living in slum communities. This study closely evaluates a slum redevelopment case in Ahmedabad, India, to understand the effects of housing redevelopment policy on families’ lives by taking a Grounded Theory approach. Within this framework, I have conducted in-depth semi- structured interviews and focus groups with community residents after relocation into their new housing. I employ thematic analysis as an analytic strategy to discover themes and sub-themes in the data, describing both intended and unintended consequences of in-situ slum redevelopment. I intend the findings from this study to create a more ‘person-centered’ approach to evaluation of housing policy that may help (re)orient success indicators of future policies toward creating more holistic solutions for affordable housing in urban settings.