A number of factors have contributed to the development of the low-income housing system in Amritsar such as government policies towards low-income housing and the spatial and social patterns of residential location. The National Housing Policy of 1988 and Seventh Five-Year Plan both emphasised the importance of access to finance through the expansion of funds from both formal and informal sources. The recommendations of the National Housing Policy were that the role of public agencies should be kept minimal as facilitators of development rather than as producers of housing. In Amritsar the recent history of housing policy towards the poor exhibits a number of parallel trends which have shaped both the formal and informal elements of low-income housing in the city. With the growth of cities and the increasing commercial and residential demand for land, land has become more than just a place for settlement; it has become an economic asset.