Introduction

The Slum Rehabilitation Society (SRS) targets individuals and families who have been forced to live in slums because of the absence of affordable housing in the metropolitan area. The ultimate aim is to provide slum dwellers with a legal, self-contained home having basic amenities such as: a raised kitchen platform, a toilet and a bathroom - conveniences not found in Mumbai’s slums.

Slum Rehabilitation in Mumbai is financed by re-housing the slum dwellers in multi-storeyed buildings on one part of the land and selling the other part at commercial rates. If the area is too dense to accommodate both, the rights for developing the commercial area can be transferred to the northern suburbs under the scheme known as TDR (Transferable Development Rights).

The idea of a permanent legal home for slum dwellers was mooted and accomplished by SRS even before the Indian government amended the Slum Act to include the Slum Rehabilitation Authority. Since 1972, SRS’ fundamental activity has been providing and constructing housing. Moreover, SRS is strongly committed to developing and supporting communities, not simply relocating them.

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SRS mobilizes and organizes slum dwellers to improve their living conditions. The organization works with communities, facilitating their relocation to permanent housing, forming housing societies, training former slum dwellers to maintain their homes and helping them develop programs to improve and care for their environment. Capacity building, income generation, education and the empowerment of women and children are all aspects of SRS’ work, part of a “post rehabilitation” program designed to help individuals adjust successfully and take charge of their changed lives.