News & Notes 638:Housing Service & Board Questions & Answers (part 2)

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638 icon.jpg   News & Notes 638
27 February 2016

Housing Service & Board Questions & Answers (part 2)


Q: What happens when an Aurovilian leaves Auroville for good?

A: If it is necessary, the Auroville Council will ask the Auroville leave allowance sub-group to recommend a repatriation fund. This consists of the travel costs and several months’ expenses in the new destination.

Q: Where do the funds for repatriations come from?

A: As Auroville does not have the funds for this purpose, 50% of the transfer value of a vacated house is put in a common pot for the repatriation fund, to be used for all (even for those who do not have a housing asset). There is no link between the repatriation fund and the value of the house left behind.

Q: What about the remaining 50% of the value of the house?

A: It is used by the Housing Service to offer as grants for people in need of funds.

Q: What happens to the vacated house?

A: In some cases, the house is proposed to other Aurovilians pro bono or is included in the “House against recognized work” scheme. Or it is given for transfer for new stewards in case the regular maintenance of the house is substantial.

Q: What happens when an Aurovilian passes away?

A: The house is evaluated and the Housing Board decides on its future use. If the house requires high-cost maintenance, then it is proposed for transfer at a reasonable value, and these funds are used for grants for people in need (Together with the fraternity contribution). In some cases, these houses can be given to people under the “Houses against recognized work” scheme.

Current housing situation in Auroville

Q: Do all Aurovilians have a house?

A: At present, there is a list of 123 adults and families both, on the waiting lists at the housing service, of which some with funds but not sufficient, who do not have a decent house. And 52 Auroville youth who are still waiting for a housing option.

Q: What about Newcomers?

A: There are many Newcomers who cannot make a donation for a house, so they move from one house-sitting to the next, after their first year in Newcomer housing. At present, they have to have clarity on their next permanent housing situation before they can become Aurovilians. A list of 8 possibilities is at the housing service. The minimum cost for a small house is 3 lakhs for single or couple.

Q: What are some solutions to the housing crisis?

A: Please find below a list of examples:
a) The Housing Service has been allowed to make 12 temporary houses at Pony Farm.
b) La Maison des Jeunes is providing 10 accommodations to volunteers and young people. A second phase is planned near the Visitor Center and near Reve.
c) The Sunship housing project with 40 apartments has started and they will offer a good number of pro bono houses.
d) Kalpana, a project of 40 apartments, is proposing 12 apartments with substantial subsidy of 40% of the value of the apartments.
e) Serenity is proposing 10 apartments for normal transfer.
f) SAIIER is planning to build 16 staff quarters in the Cultural Zone.
g) On a much larger scale, the Humanscapes project (entirely funded by GOI grant) will offer about 36 beds for the youth in the first phase. There will be 4 phases in total.
h) There are new projects which are under construction at present, such as Invocation, Sanjana, Habitat.
In total, 307 housing accommodations will be built during the next 3 years. This could help to give proper housing accommodation to approximately 500 Aurovilians and Newcomers in need (of which 72 will be for “housing against work” and 12 with subsidy).

Newcomer units

Q: How many Newcomer houses are there in AV?

A: Thanks to Maitreye 2 (funded by GOI grant), Newcomer units have increased from 50 to 77.

Q: Are these units only for Newcomers?

A: Only the caretaker and one Aurovilian family on a 1 year temporary basis. In principle these units are only for use during the Newcomer time. Or some times this stay can be extended, while waiting for the permanent housing in a project to be completed.

Housing Service

Q: Who are the members of the Housing Service?

A: Chun-Hi, Devasmita, Ole, Satyakam, Sonja, Venkatesh, and Vika are contributing to improve the quality of the service and our organization.

Q: Who are the field people in charge of repairs and renovations?

A: Ambalagam, Anbu and Kupuraj, Auro Creation Raman. The Housing Service has recently requested more contractors to join the team.

Q: Who are the members of the Housing Board?

A: Board members: Aurovici, Divya (TDC), Eva (Entry Service), Karin, Renuka (AVC), Satyakam (HS), Sonja (HS) and Yuval. They are helping the Housing Service to take important decisions and are of great help when discussing difficult and complicated issues. The Housing Board has a weekly meeting on Wednesday mornings.