Home

Home  >  Coming to Auroville  > Joining Auroville > To live and work in Auroville > Auroville Housing Policy 2007

Auroville Housing Policy

At Auroville nothing belongs to anyone in particular.
All is collective property.
To be utilised with my blessings for the welfare of all.
The Mother

It is generally agreed that private property has no place in Auroville and that all assets, even if created by individuals, belong to the community as a whole. These assets are then entrusted to individuals and groups for proper management or stewardship on behalf of the community. While housing is a right, which Auroville strives to provide to its residents, different social and economic factors have in recent years led to a situation where individuals have had little choice but to outlay considerable sums of money and energy to cover their individual housing needs. This Housing Policy document formulates guidelines, based on today's realities, to deal with different problems that exist and that may arise out of the present situation.

1) General principles

a)   All houses, apartments and other immovable constructions created on land owned by the Auroville Foundation are owned by the Auroville Foundation. The Auroville Foundation holds the ownership of all these assets in trust for humanity as a whole.

b)   An Aurovilian, a Newcomer to Auroville, a Partner of Auroville or any other person will have no private ownership of houses, apartments or other constructions owned by the Auroville Foundation.

c)    An Aurovilian, a Newcomer to Auroville or a Partner of Auroville will not purchase any immovable property in the area which according to Auroville's Master Plan is intended to become part of Auroville in the future, or in the vicinity of this area.

d)   Aurovilians and Newcomers to Auroville will reside in Auroville.



2) Management and Stewardship

a)   All houses, apartments and other immovable assets created on land owned by the Auroville Foundation are under the management responsibility of the Funds and Assets Management Committee (FAMC). The FAMC delegates part of this responsibility to the Housing Service.

b)   An Aurovilian, a Newcomer to Auroville or a Partner of Auroville who resides in a house or apartment in Auroville is the steward of that house or apartment.

c)    A steward will properly maintain the house or apartment and make a contribution towards the collective payment of the yearly house tax.

d)   A person who is not an Aurovilian, a Newcomer to Auroville or a Partner of Auroville cannot be a steward of a house or apartment owned by the Auroville Foundation and such persons have no right of occupancy, without express permission of the Housing Service and the Entry Group. Any person who is not an Aurovilian, a Newcomer to Auroville or a Partner of Auroville, who is permanently residing in a house or apartment owned by the Auroville Foundation, including the family members of an Aurovilian, a Newcomer to Auroville or a Partner of Auroville, must sign the same declaration as Aurovilians and Newcomers that they have will make no claims of ownership on assets owned by the Auroville Foundation


3) Temporary absence of a Steward

a)   The Aurovilian or Newcomer who:

 i) Wishes to leave Auroville for a period longer than six months, due to which the house or apartment will be unoccupied, or

 ii)  Wishes to relinquish the stewardship of a house or an apartment for a specified period of time will, after obtaining the agreement of the concerned community, communicate the name of the new steward to the Housing Service, which has the right to object. Any such objection that cannot be resolved between the parties will be referred to the FAMC for final decision.

b)   A Partner of Auroville will enter into an agreement with the Housing Service for the proper allocation of the house or apartment during his or her absence.  Such an agreement will also include provisions for maintenance of the house or apartment and contribution towards the house tax.


.

4) Permanent absence of a Steward

a)   In case an Aurovilian, a Newcomer to Auroville, or a Partner of Auroville leaves Auroville permanently, the house or apartment will be re-allocated by the Housing Service in consultation with that Aurovilian, Newcomer or Partner of Auroville and the community in which the house or apartment is situated.

 i) A Newcomer to Auroville is considered to have left Auroville permanently if his or her newcomer period has been terminated without s/he having become Aurovilian;

 ii)  An Aurovilian is considered to have left Auroville permanently if his or her name has been removed from the Master List;

 iii)   A Partner of Auroville will be considered to have left Auroville permanently if s/he has not been living in the allocated house or apartment for a period of two years without the prior agreement of the Housing Service and the Entry Group.

 iv)  An Aurovilian or a Partner of Auroville who leaves Auroville permanently is not entitled to any form of compensation for leaving the apartment or house.

b)   In case a Newcomer to Auroville or an Aurovilian dies, the house or apartment will normally be allocated to the Aurovilian(s) or Newcomer(s) with whom the deceased was living prior to his or her death.  If a controversy arises over the allocation, the Housing Service will make the final decision.

 i) In allocating the house or apartment, the Housing Service will consider the request(s), if any, of an Aurovilian child or children of the deceased who are living in Auroville at the time of the death, or in case an Aurovilian child or children are temporarily absent from Auroville, intend to return to Auroville within a reasonable time after the death.

 ii)  In allocating the house or apartment, the Housing Service will consider the request(s), if any, of an Aurovilian person who has financially contributed to the building of the house but has ceased to live there within the last five years.

c)    In case a Partner of Auroville dies, the house or apartment will be re-allocated by the Housing Service.



5) House allocation

a)   The Housing Service, will make the allocation of all houses and apartments. In making any temporary allocation, the Housing Service will consult the steward and the community in which the house or apartment is situated.

b)   The Housing Service can only allocate a house or apartment to an Aurovilian, a Newcomer to Auroville or a Partner of Auroville. In exceptional cases, in consideration of services being rendered to Auroville, the Housing Service may make a house or apartment available to consultants, long-term guests, trainees, students, civil workers and others who will stay in Auroville for a limited period of time with the prior agreement of the Entry Group.

c)    The Housing Service may decide to allocate a house to an Aurovilian against a contribution from the new steward, or to waive any contribution.

d)   When a house or an apartment other than a Newcomer house is being allocated to a Newcomer, the allocation will be subject to the same guidelines and conditions as outlined under section 10(d) of the policy. Normally Aurovilians are to be given priority over newcomers.

e)   In case the requests for housing exceed the number of houses available, the Housing Service shall consider the following criteria to establish the priority for allocating the housing.

 i) Length of residence in Auroville;

 ii)  The number of Aurovilians in the family;

 iii)  The urgency of the situation;

 iv)  The ability of the applicant to contribute him- or herself in kind and/or financially and/or obtain donations or loans from other sources, and the applicant's ability to repay such loans.

6) Staff Quarters

a)   All staff quarters will be registered as such with the Housing Service.

b)   The executive(s) of the unit, who are responsible for them, in consultation with the Housing Service, will make the allocation of staff quarters. The executive(s) of the unit concerned will keep the Housing Service informed about the occupancy of the staff quarters at least once in 6 months.

c)    In the case that staff quarters remain unoccupied for a period of at least 6 months, the Housing Service may allocate them in consultation with the unit executive(s), as per 5b above.

d)   Staff quarters should not be provided to employees including community watchmen without the prior agreement of the Housing Service and without a formal lease agreement between Housing Service and the unit/individual. (Existing cases should be regularised.)



7) House Exchange

a)   A Newcomer to Auroville, an Aurovilian or a Partner of Auroville wishing to become a steward of a house or apartment in exchange for his/her present stewardship of a house or apartment, will contact the Housing Service. Both parties involved in an exchange must be present in Auroville at the time of the exchange.

b)   The respective communities will be consulted for feedback before a decision is made.

c)    A transfer will be published on the available housing list for one month, irrespective of the availability of a proposed new steward. An exchange will be published in the News & Notes for a feedback period of 2 weeks.

d)   If there is more than one applicant, stewards will be selected according to the criteria described in point 5e of the Housing Policy.

e)   The Housing Service will determine the modalities of such exchanges or transfers. In particular, the Housing Service may decide that a contribution to Auroville from one or both parties concerned is required, or to waive any such contribution. All transfer of funds will be channelled through Auroville Fund or any other fund designated by the FAMC.

f)     An Aurovilian, Newcomer to Auroville or a Partner of Auroville cannot receive any monetary compensation as a consequence of the exchange or transfer of the stewardship of a house or apartment. The value of the house to be transferred, if disputed, will be evaluated by either one or two independent architectural offices, at the request of Housing Service. In case of a difference of 10% or more of the two estimated values the matter may be referred to the FAMC.

g)   Normally a house or apartment can only be exchanged for another house or apartment; any request for an exception to that guideline has to be presented to the FAMC, whose decision will be final.

h)   All changes of stewardship, by exchange or by transfer, will pass through Housing Service.



8) New Housing

a)   An Aurovilian, Newcomer to Auroville or an Auroville unit wishing to construct an individual house or an Aurovilian or an Auroville unit wishing to construct a multiple housing project will obtain the prior written permission of the APDC, and in the case of multiple housing projects, the FAMC. Before giving its approval, the APDC and the FAMC will ascertain that:

 i) The proposed construction is technically viable;

 ii)  The funds necessary for the construction of an individual house are available or the proposed multiple housing project is financially sound;

 iii)    For a multiple housing complex or project, proper project and financial management have been provided for;

 iv)  Those applicants who are Newcomers have obtained a positive recommendation from the Entry Group. Before giving its final approval, the APDC will inform the Housing Service.

b)   An Aurovilian, Newcomer to Auroville or Auroville unit wishing to construct an individual house will be fully responsible for the realisation of the construction. It is at the discretion of the Housing Service to provide funds to help an Aurovilian who has difficulties in finishing a new construction.

c)    Project holders of a multiple housing complex or project shall report on the status of the project at least every six months to the APDC, or the FAMC upon request, if problems or necessary modifications to the project have been identified.

 i) It is recommended that the size of a residence does not exceed 60m2 carpet area for an individual plus 30m2 for each additional projected inhabitant;

 ii)  It is recommended that construction costs do not exceed the maximum m2 cost (i.e. Rs. 10,000 in

2005, not including furnishing, fitting and infrastructure);

 iii)   It is recommended that the maximum cost for a house shall not exceed Rs 12 lakhs (excluding furnishing, fitting and infrastructure).

d)   An Aurovilian, Newcomer to Auroville, or an Auroville unit permitted to construct will:

 i) Make a contribution according to the scale below, to be allocated between the Housing Fund, theDevelopment Fund (APDC), the Land Fund, and Auroville Unity Fund(AVUF):

                   Below Rs 5 lakhs: 2% (1% AVUF and 1% APDC)

                   From Rs 5 lakhs to below Rs 12 lakhs: 13% (1% AVUF, 1% APDC, 10% Housing Fund, 1 % Land contribution)
                   Rs 12 lakhs or above: 14% (1% AVUF, 1% APDC, 10% Housing Fund and 2 % Land contribution)

                   These amounts are subject to inflation and will be reviewed on a yearly basis.

e)   Contributions will be based on final costs and not estimates and can be reduced or waived at the discretion of the FAMC. All funds for the building of individual houses shall pass through the Auroville Fund, or any other appropriate channel recognized by the FAMC and the contributions for the Housing Fund, Development Fund, Land Fund and Auroville Fund shall be deducted at source.

f)     These contributions also apply to the construction of Staff Quarters.



9) Guest Houses and Guest apartments

a)   Houses and apartments may not be transformed into guest houses or guest apartments.

b)   Spaces in houses and apartments under the stewardship of Aurovilians can only be used as guest accommodation with prior permission of the Housing Service.

c)    All buildings used for the express purpose of providing accommodation for guests to Auroville, with the exception of accommodation made available through the Housing Service, shall be administered as units under the Auroville Guest House Trust.



10) Newcomer Housing

a)   In order to provide shelter to Newcomers so that they may experience Auroville with a minimum of difficulties, small houses and apartments specified as ‘Newcomer Houses' are available for them.

b)   The FAMC delegates the management of Newcomer Houses to the Housing Service.

c)    The Housing Service will normally allocate a Newcomer House to Newcomers for a maximum period of two years.  The Housing Service can extend this period for a limited period, whether or not the Newcomer has meanwhile become Aurovilian.

d)   The Housing Service may allocate a Newcomer House against a lump-sum deposit or a monthly contribution from the Newcomer to the Newcomer Housing Fund, or waive such contribution under exceptional circumstances. The FAMC is to be informed in writing about such cases.

The Housing Service will manage a lump sum deposit as follows:

 i) If a Newcomer leaves Auroville, s/he will be reimbursed as per the terms defined by the Loan Agreement signed with Housing Service.

 ii)  If a Newcomer becomes Aurovilian, the right to any reimbursement will lapse. If s/he leaves the Newcomer unit within the first year the remainder of the deposit, as per the terms of the Loan Agreement signed with Housing Service, will be transferred to a special account with Auroville Fund to be used for his/her future house in Auroville.

e)   The Housing Service may decide that Newcomer Housing can be allocated for a limited period of time to a consultant, long-term guest, trainee, student, or other person who does not wish to become Aurovilian against payment of a monthly contribution with the prior agreement of the Entry Group. The Housing Service may decide that Newcomer Housing can be allocated to an Aurovilian for a period of up to one year provided that future housing is assured.  The Housing Service in this case will waive any contribution from the Aurovilian concerned.

f)     Newcomers wishing to construct an individual house or an apartment in a multiple housing project will make a Newcomer Loan Agreement with the Housing Service and deposit the value of the residence with the Auroville Maintenance Fund. In case the Newcomer decides to leave Auroville the loan will be refunded to the Newcomer as per the terms of the Loan Agreement. When the Newcomer becomes an Aurovilian the deposit will be transferred as a contribution to Auroville Fund as per the terms of the Loan Agreement. Only Newcomers with a positive recommendation of the Entry Group may enter into Newcomer Loan Agreements.


11) Housing for Partners of Auroville

With the prior permission of the Entry Group, who will determine their status, Partners of Auroville may donate funds for an apartment in a collective housing project, (in exceptional cases Partners of Auroville may donate funds for a house but only with the prior permission of the Entry Group, the Housing Service and in the case of a new construction the APDC as per clause 8 above) which will be put at their disposal when they visit Auroville under the following conditions:

 i) A Partner of Auroville must sign the same declaration as Aurovilians and Newcomers that they have will make no claims of ownership on assets owned by the Auroville Foundation.

 ii)  The stewardship of the accommodation will rest with the Housing Service.

 iii)  The Housing Service will allocate the accommodation on a temporary basis to an Aurovilian or Newcomer to Auroville when the Partner of Auroville does not require it.

 iv)  A Partner of Auroville will enter into an agreement with the Housing Service for the proper allocation of the house or apartment during his or her absence. Such an agreement will also include provisions for maintenance of the apartment and contribution towards the house tax.

 v) In case a Partner of Auroville leaves Auroville permanently, the apartment will be re-allocated by the Housing Service in consultation with the community in which the apartment is situated.

 vi) A Partner of Auroville will be considered to have left Auroville permanently if s/he has not been living in the allocated house or apartment for a period of two years without the prior agreement of the Housing Service and the Entry Group.

 vii) A Partner of Auroville who leaves Auroville permanently is not entitled to any form of compensation for leaving the apartment.

 viii) A Partner of Auroville cannot receive any monetary compensation as a consequence of any exchange of the apartment.

 ix)  In case a Partner of Auroville dies, the house or apartment will be re-allocated by the Housing Service.

 

12) Housing Repair Fund, Housing Fund and Newcomer Housing Fund

The Housing Service will manage the Housing Repair Fund, the Housing Fund and the Newcomer Housing Fund.

a)   Housing Repair Fund

 i) The income of the Housing Repair Fund will consist of:

 A)  Contributions from the Central Fund;

 B)   Other contributions

b)   Housing Fund

 i) The income of the Housing Fund will consist of:

 A)  Contributions from the building of new houses under sections 8d above;

 B)   Contributions towards the allocation of a house or apartment under 5c and 7e above;

 C)  Other contributions and donations.

 ii)  The income of the Housing Fund will be used to provide new houses to or improve old houses for Aurovilians without sufficient means, in consultation with the APDC.

c)    Newcomer Housing Fund

 i) The income of the Newcomer Housing Fund will consist of:

 A)  Un-reimbursed deposits as cited in section 10d

 B)   Monthly contributions as cited in sections 10d and 10e above

 C)  Other income

 ii)  The income of the Newcomer Housing Fund will be used for the reconditioning of Newcomer Houses as well as for the construction of new Newcomer Houses.


13) Allocations from the Housing Fund and the Housing Repair Fund.

a)   To be eligible for receiving financial aid from the Housing Fund and Housing Repair Fund an applicant must:

 i) Be an Aurovilian; and

 ii)  Be engaged in a regular work for the community

b)   In the case that the requests for financial aid exceed the funds available, the Housing Service shall consider the following criteria to establish the priority for allotting aid:

 i) Length of residence in Auroville;

 ii)  Urgency of the situation;

 iii)  Ability of the applicant to contribute him- or herself and/or obtain donations or loans from other sources, and the applicant's ability to repay such loans

c)    The Housing Service may allocate funds in the following ways:

 i) In the form of a full or partial grant;

 ii)  In the form of a full or partial loan, to be reimbursed in monthly or other instalments by the unit for which the applicant works and/or by the applicant if he/she has the financial means to do so.

d)   The Housing Service may request the unit or service in which the applicant works to make a contribution or a loan to the Housing Service, to be used for the applicant's house or apartment.



14) Housing Service Mandate

a)   The Housing Service will have as its mandate:

 i) To allocate all houses, apartments and newcomer houses. In cases where such allocation is contested, the allocation shall be done by the FAMC;

 ii)  To secure the income and manage the expenditure of the Housing Repair Fund, Housing Fund, and the Newcomer Housing Fund;

 iii)   To maintain a list of all houses, apartments and newcomer houses owned by the Auroville Foundation. This list will identify all houses and the names of the Aurovilian(s), Newcomer(s), Partner(s) of Auroville who have been allocated the stewardship of the house(s) or apartment(s);

 iv)  To maintain a list of all staff quarters and houses built by Auroville units for their staff. This list will contain the names of the person(s) who are occupying the staff quarters or house;

 v) To devise and, with approval of the FAMC, implement a system to categorise houses and apartments in accordance with size and building quality, and coordinate the payment of house tax together with Auroville Fund, where each steward will be asked to contribute the amount specified by category.

b)   The Housing Service will report quarterly on all its activities to the FAMC. The FAMC shall publish the report in the News & Notes.

c)    The Housing Service will publish on a regular basis via the News & Notes a list of houses and apartments for which a new stewardship is being considered. The Housing Service will only allocate a new stewardship after the information regarding availability of the house or apartment has been known to the community for at least two weeks.



15) Disputes.

All disputes between an Aurovilian, a Newcomer to Auroville, a Partner of Auroville, an Auroville unit or any other person who has been allocated a house or apartment, and the Housing Service will be settled by the FAMC.

This policy will be reviewed by the FAMC yearly
First approved by the FAMC on 28th July 2000

Last approved on February 24th 2006

This revision approved on February 2nd 2007

 

 

For up-to-date information on housing in Auroville, consult:


Housing Service,
Town Hall,
Auroville 605 101,
Tamil Nadu,
INDIA

Email: housingauroville.org.in 

Home  >  Coming to Auroville  > Joining Auroville > To live and work in Auroville > Auroville Housing Policy

  Auroville Universal Township webmaster@auroville.org.in To the top