The Central Government launched the Working Women Hostel scheme designed to meet the housing requirements of helpless or working women. The main objective of the working women hostel scheme is to empower women.
The government launched the working women hostel scheme to promote the availability of reliable and convenient accommodation for the working women who leave their homes due to professional commitments. The government provides a grant-in-aid to construct new or expand existing buildings to advance hostel facilities in towns, cities, and rural areas under this scheme.
Objectives of the Working Women Hostel Scheme
- To promote safe and convenient accommodation for the working women and daycare facilities for their children.
- To facilitate accommodation services in rural, urban or semi-urban areas where employment opportunities for women exist.
- To assist projects in establishing new hostel buildings, hostel buildings in rented premises and extension of existing hostel buildings.
- To make hostels available for all working women without any discrimination.
- To provide accommodation for women undergoing training for jobs.
Beneficiaries of the Working Women Hostel Scheme
The following categories of working women and their children can stay in the hostels established under this scheme:
- Working women, including widowed, single, separated, divorced or married but whose husband or immediate family does not reside in the same city or area. Preference can be given to women from disadvantaged sections of society. There should also be a provision for reserving seats for physically challenged beneficiaries.
- Women undergoing training for jobs provided, the total training period is more than one year. However, such women can stay in the hostels if a vacancy is available after accommodating working women. The number of women undergoing training for jobs should not be more than 30% of the total capacity of the hostel.
- Accommodation will be provided to boys up to five years and girls up to 18 years accompanying working mothers in the hostels with their mothers. Working mothers can also avail the daycare centre services provided under the scheme.
Eligible Agencies/Organisations under the Working Women Hostel Scheme
The following agencies or organisations (implementing agencies) can apply for assistance under the scheme to establish new hostels or expand existing hostels facility:
- State government agencies, including Women Finance Corporations, Women Development Corporations, etc.
- Urban municipal bodies, including cantonment boards.
- Panchayati Raj institutions.
- SHGs (Self Help Groups).
- Recognised colleges or universities.
- Civil society organisations having a track record of working in the fields of women’s welfare, social welfare or women’s education and are registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860 or any relevant State Act.
- Public trusts registered under any law and cooperative institutions.
- Corporate or associations like ASSOCHAM, CII, FICCI, etc., subject to the condition that other working women are provided accommodation in the hostel in addition to their female employees.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development and the state governments can construct hostels on their own and lease them to organisations having sufficient experience for managing their operations as per the scheme’s rules.
Rules of the Working Women Hostel Scheme
Working women whose consolidated gross income does not exceed Rs.50,000 per month in Metropolitan cities or Rs.35,000 per month in any other town or rural area are entitled to hostel facilities under this scheme. When a working woman’s income residing in a hostel exceeds the prescribed income limits, she will be required to vacate the hostel within six months of crossing the income limits.
The eligible agencies or organisations that provide hostel facilities can charge monthly rent for the rooms from the working women. The rate of the rooms will depend on the type of room the women have chosen. The monthly rent of the rooms under the scheme are as follow:
- For single bedroom – Rent charges not exceeding 15% of the gross remuneration of the working woman.
- For double bedroom – Rent charges not exceeding 10% of the gross remuneration of the working woman.
- For dormitories – Rent charges not exceeding 7½% of the gross remuneration of the working woman.
- For children daycare centre – Charges not exceeding 5% of the gross remuneration of the mother or the actual expenditure, whichever is less.
The rent for women undergoing training for jobs should not exceed the rent charged from the working women.
Period of stay
A working woman cannot stay in a hostel assisted under this scheme for more than three years. In exceptional circumstances, the district administration can allow a working woman to stay in a hostel beyond three years after recording the reasons for such extension for another six months at one time. However, the total stay of a woman with extensions should not exceed five years.
Application Procedure Under the Working Women Hostel Scheme
The eligible agencies or organisations (implementing agencies) can apply for grants-in-aid to establish hostel facilities or expand the hostel facilities by following the below procedures:
- The respective State Government will invite applications from the eligible agencies or organisations.
- The eligible agencies or organisations should fill the application in the prescribed form and submit it to the department of women and child development of the concerned state.
- The application for constructing a hostel on public land must be accompanied by the required documents (as stated below).
- The concerned state government will place the applications that fulfil the norms of the scheme before a Project Sanctioning Committee (PSC) for deciding the sanction of the grants-in-aid to the eligible agencies.
Documents Required Under the Working Women Hostel Scheme
The eligible agencies or organisations must submit the following documents along with the application for this scheme:
- Prospectus of the association, organisation, institution or voluntary agency with a short description of its activities and objectives.
- Copy of the annual reports and balance sheet for the past three years.
- Audited accounts, including income and expenditure statement, auditors report receipt and payment statement certified by CA/government auditors.
- Copy of the building and site plan of the proposed working women’s hostel construction as per the norms under this scheme and certified by a registered architect.
- Copy of building permit certificate and approval from the local authority stating that the construction of the hostel has been permitted.
- Detailed cost estimate of hostel building construction certified by the PWD (Public Works Department) or any other relevant authority and the sources from which there will be a grant of the remaining funds.
- Documentary copy of the plot upon which the building is proposed to be constructed, in case of public land.
- Lease deed of the proposed land for the working women’s hostel building construction signed between the lessee and the governing authority.
- The lease deed must have the condition that the land must be used to construct the working women’s hostel.
The implementing agencies seeking financial assistance for the hostels in rented premises must submit the below additional documents:
- Copy of the rental agreement with the landlord.
- Once the project is approved, the implementing agency must submit a new rental agreement certified by the respective authority.
- Detailed building plan and the financial calculations of the rented premises certified by the district collector or state PWD.
Financial Assistance Under Working Women Hostel Scheme
The financial assistance (cost for the construction of the hostel building) will be shared on a specific ratio between the Central Government, State Government/UT (other than North-Eastern and the Himalayan states), and the implementing agencies.
The cost-sharing ratio between the Central Government, State Government/UT (other than North-Eastern and the Himalayan states) and the implementing agencies is 60:15:25 for the construction of working women hostel buildings. The cost-sharing ratio between Central Government, State Government/UT and the implementing agencies for the North-Eastern and the Himalayan States is 65:10:25.
For the financial assistance to the hostels operated in the rented premises, the rent amount would be assessed by the state PWD or district collector. The rent would be utilised for the housekeeping, security service, hostel maintenance, office establishment, expenditure towards water and electricity charges and any other facilities other than a mess.
The grants for replacing items like solar water heaters, geysers and washing machines will also be sanctioned every five years, provided the hostel has been maintained properly during the preceding five years.
Release of Grants Under the Working Women Hostel Scheme
The state government/UT will release the grant for construction in three instalments in the ratio of 50:40:10 to the implementing agencies. It will also issue a one-time grant to purchase area facilities and furniture with the third instalment of 10% of the construction cost of the hostel. The three instalments will be released as follows:
- First instalment – Released with the sanction of the project.
- Second instalment – Released when the implementing agencies have spent the previous instalment along with its proportionate share of the hostel building construction cost.
- Third instalment – Release of 10% of the amount and the one-time grants on the completion of the hostel building construction.
The project will be reviewed or monitored every two years, and if the state government/UT approves the continuation, it will be reviewed in the next block of two years.
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