The Urban Poverty Alleviation (UPA) programme i.e. Nehru Rozgar Yojana (NRY) & Urban Basic Service for the Poor (UBSP) both centrally sponsored Schemes, were launched in 1990 and as per the guidelines of the schemes, an Urban Development Agency at State level was to be constituted to act as a nodal agency for implementation of the urban poverty alleviation programme. Hence, the Meghalaya Urban Development Agency was set up and registered in May 1991 as a Society under the Meghalaya Societies Registration Act, 1983.
The objects enshrined for the Agency is to plan and assists the local bodies in implementation of schemes relating to the urban poor for improving their socio-economic condition and for developing their physical environment and thereby improving their quality of life. It also has to facilitate the Boards in coordination and convergence of activities of various sectoral departments. Hence, the organization is to function as a nodal agency to channelise fund, monitor the proper utilisation of fund, monitor and assess the programme and coordinate the schemes relating to urban poor.
Beside the General Council and the Governing Body at the apex, the Director heads the Agency; who is the Executive Officer. At the District level, the District Urban Planners of Urban Affairs of the three districts of East Khasi Hills, West Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills and the Assistant Engineers of Urban Affairs of the districts of East Garo Hills, South Garo Hills and North Garo Hills have been made as ex-officio District Co-ordinators of the urban poverty alleviation programme. At the Town level, Urban Poverty Alleviation Cell has been created in all the urban local bodies for implementation of the Scheme.