The Chennai City Council (CC) is in talks with real estate agents to get the land for free.
The council is exploring the possibility of offering free or cheap rent on properties that have been converted to residential units and the owners have agreed to buy the land and sell it for the cost of rent.
The proposed scheme is a pilot programme that would take off in a month.
It would be run by a committee of three members who will oversee the process.
“The real estate agent would have to buy land, convert it to residential, and then rent it for about Rs 25 lakh to the person who wants to sell it,” a council official said.
The proposal comes amid a severe shortage of land in Chennai.
While the city’s housing stock is already stretched thin, the council has already started working on a pilot scheme.
In November, the government had approved a Rs 5 lakh loan to build three affordable housing projects in the city.
The city is already the biggest city in India to lack affordable housing.
In a survey conducted by the Urban Development Board, only 9.5 per cent of the population of the city is living in affordable housing facilities.
The government is working on building 3,000 units of affordable housing for Chennai.