Revival And Strengthening of RHB – Rajasthan Housing Board


SKOCH Award Nominee

Category: Housing Board – State
Sub-Category: subHousing Board – State
Project: Revival And Strengthening of RHB
Start Date: 2019-09-01
Organisation: Rajasthan Housing Board
Respondent: Mr Vijay Agrawal, Dy Housing Commissioner (HQ)
www.urban.rajasthan.gov.in/rhb
Level: Premium


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Case Study

Rajasthan Housing Board Introduces e-Auction & e-Board To Revive Operations

The Rajasthan Housing Board works under the State Government of Rajasthan to provide affordable housing options to the residents of the state.

Problem

RHB was struggling with a very large unsold housing inventory totalling up to 18,000 units. Disposing so many assets is a monumental task and carrying the weight of the same had put RHB at risk of being closed permanently. One of the biggest challenges at the time was that the reserve prices for the houses in the inventory were much more than the standard market rates of the time, making them an unviable choice for any potential buyers. RHB was suffering not only in terms of operations and losses but from a loss of faith on the part of the public. Introducing, launching and popularising new schemes takes a lot of work to guarantee success.

Solutions

An e-Auction and e-Bid approach was introduced, inviting submissions with properties with rebates of 25-50%. Amendments concerning Enforcement and Recovery were added to the RHB Act. Several residential projects as well as other public interest works were launched. RHB focused on introducing administrative reforms and incorporate re-engineering in order to overhaul operations. A concerted effort was made to engage with the public and generate awareness and enthusiasm about upcoming opportunities. Digital, electronic, outdoor, print and social media were optimised to spread the word and communication through emails, SMSs and telephone calls helped with public engagement. RHB officers got a facelift with IT-enabled help desks, improved seating, reception services and refreshments.

Outcomes

11,432 properties were sold in a period of two years, creating revenue worth Rs 3,179 Crore. The public regained their confidence in RHB. New residential schemes were subsequently introduced and other CSR projects have also been started. All India Services Officers have reserved apartments in the new multistorey AIS Residency Scheme. RHB has been awarded the role of the Nodal agency responsible for the building of 160 new luxurious MLAs apartments.   

Challenges

Keeping the officials motivated when everyone’s spirits were flagging was one of the biggest challenges. Selling off the massive inventory was not easy. Introducing the e-Auction concept required a lot of planning and prepping. A Help Desk had to be set up to guide staff through every step of the way. Recruiting personnel for the project, engaging Nodal Officers, developing new policies incorporating new technologies and creating a Land Bank for new schemes, arranging funding for beneficiary-led house construction and completing paperwork all required a lot of effort. Creating demand and popularising the scheme through digital, social and print media was crucial for the success of the project.

Innovation

The creation of an enforcement wing, horticulture wing and marketing wing set this project apart. Many multi-task professionals were brought on board, including social media specialists.

The ‘Budhwar Neelami Utsav’ scheme was rolled out later. It functioned as an offline auction that accepted sealed bids submitted at the office. The scheme was integrated with the Golden Jubilee Gift Scheme.

After the lockdown, another scheme titled ‘Apni Dukan Apna Vyavsay’ was introduced to help small traders and vendors participate in eBid Submission. Another eBid Submission project was also opened up under BNU, dealing with homes carrying rebates of upto 50%.

The minimum bid price formula was the USP of the project. It made the entire exercise extremely popular, drew in large numbers and resulted in a lot of participation.

The project proves the point that there is a lot to be said for public interest works that offer great benefits to large populations. The revival of the RHB underscores the power of determination, spirited action and commitment to public service. A well-designed public outreach programme and citizen-friendly products and services like affordable housing can be adapted and replicated anywhere. The project serves every tier of society, especially those from economically modest backgrounds and the marginal traders.


For more information, please contact:
Mr Vijay Agrawal, Dy Housing Commissioner (HQ) at dhchq.rhb@rajasthan.gov.in


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