SAPFI – India’s first student accommodation sector forum aimed at advocating high-quality and secure accommodation launched

The Student Accommodation Providers Forum of India (SAPFI) marked its launch today by hosting its inaugural meeting in New Delhi. A first of its kind body, the forum has been launched to advocate and work towards realising the growing need of India’s large student community, for high quality and secure accommodation. The forum held its inaugural meeting in New Delhi and brought together leading accommodation providers for the student community, with discussions focussing on developing that can facilitate a robust, structured and sustainable growth for the student accommodation segment.

SAPFI’s vision will focus on empowering organizations and businesses engaged in the student accommodation industry; promote value of quality student accommodation solutions to support and enhance India’s education experience. The Forum will work closely with the government to create a conducive policy and legislative ecosystem that fosters innovation, transparency, economic growth and social development, for the student accommodation sector.

According to a recent report by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, there were over 36 million students across higher education institutions in India in 2017-18. Despite the need for quality accommodation for this fast growing student universe, such infrastructure support, was severely lacking and not at par with some of the more developed economies. The percentage of this unmet demand varies across the country and in some states, can be as high as 60%. This demonstrates a strong need to develop and promote quality student accommodation solutions to support and enhance India’s education experience.

Speaking at the launch of the Forum, Kaushal Mahan, Convener, SAPFI, said, “Student accommodation is fast emerging as a specialized asset class which requires strong understanding of consumer behaviour and evolving solutions. We foresee potential for robust growth of this sector, not just in to large cities across the country, but also across higher education hubs in smaller cities. To ensure, we are able to realize this potential, SAPFI will work with the government to develop a policy framework that provides regulatory clarity and lays down standards and guidelines to formalize the segment.”

The Forum also announced that it will partner with CBRE, the leading commercial real estate services and investment firm, to prepare and release by mid-year, an industry report that will clarify the approach towards unlocking the potential for the growth of the student accommodation segment in India. Rami Kaushal, MD, Consulting & Valuations, CBRE India said “We are proud to partner with Student Accommodation Providers Forum of India (SAPFI) in forming an exciting forum which will be devoted to promote the concept of student accommodations in India. Student housing is an important segment and while it gives the real estate industry and opportunity to further expand its ambit, it also ensures that the students get suitable and friendly place to live during their time in colleges. I am sure SAPFI will guide the industry in devising solutions for this sector and future collaborations will pave the way for further advancements both in the policy framework as well as its implementation.”

The forum includes leading student rental housing service providers such as Stanza Living, CoHo, Placio, Renaissance Living Spaces, Tribestays, Campus Student Living Community and YourSpace among its core members. It is also supported by leading entities across real estate, legal and public policy domain including CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Ikagai Law and Chase India, who will collaborate as Associate Members of the forum.

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