Though pogress has been made toward improving the generally primitive housing in which most Indians live, there are still some deficits in housing supply and access to basic utilities. A number of subsidized, low-cost housing schemes have been launched by the government, but the goal of providing a house for every homeless family cannot be met because of the prohibitive cost. The sixth five-year plan envisaged an expenditure of R 94 billion for rural housing and R 35 billion for urban housing during 1980– 85, including R 11.9 billion to provide shelter for homeless people. The eighth five-year plan (1990–95) called for an investment of $40 billion in housing, with 90% of this sum earmarked for the private sector. The government's goal is to provide eight million new housing units between 1990 and 2000, two million to fill the existing backlog and six million to meet the needs that will be created by population growth.
According to 2001 national statistics, there was a total of about 187,162,172 residential dwelling units nationwide. About 50% were considered to be in "good" condition and 44% were described as "livable." Many rural dwellings are constructed of mud brick or burnt brick walls with mud floors and a thatched or tiled roof. Urban dwellings are made from concrete or burnt brick. As of 2001, about 55% of dwellings had access to electricity. Only about 36% of all dwellings had indoor bathroom facilities.