Mumbai realty developers offer to build 500,000 affordable houses

News Posted - 2010-04-08

Real estate developers in Mumbai propose to join hands to construct 500,000 affordable houses for middle and lower income groups in partnership with the Maharashtra government in the next five years in the fast-growing Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The MMR region comprises Mumbai and the adjoining cities and towns such as Thane, Dombivli, Kalyan, Vasai, Virar, Mira Road and Nalasopara.

The project, as proposed, entails an investment of over Rs 15,000 crore. Houses of 160 sq ft to 600 sq ft are proposed to be created. The floor space index proposed (the ration of total built-up area allowed on the given land area) is three. The project would be implemented under the aegis of the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI).

The idea is also to take inputs from the ongoing schemes of rental housing implemented by the state-run Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, public-private partnership carried out by Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority and the slum rehabilitation scheme. MCHI President Pravin Doshi said the details of financial requirement of the project was being worked out.

“Residential housing can be made affordable by release of land by the government, increase of FSI, reduced taxes, single window clearance on plans and availability of micro finance. Through this partnership, our endeavour is to arrive at some substantial solutions to cater to the ever growing need of demand for homes,” Doshi said.

However, Doshi was unable to explain what MCHI meant by affordable housing. He said it would depend on location. He repeatedly said MCHI and its members had no hidden agenda: they would not seek any extra favours from the state government for the construction of 5,00,000 affordable houses.

According to the information available with MCHI, Mumbai alone has an immediate demand of 1.4 million homes, of which 80 per cent comes from the Rs 3-5 lakh income group. There is also an unmet demand for basic affordable housing in Mumbai and the metropolitan region.

MCHI office-bearer Dharmesh Jain said the proposed mass housing project would help increase volume and stabilise the realty market. “Ultimately this will lead to mass consumption,” he noted.

Source: Business Standard 7/4/10