Builders for changes,housing policy on hold

The state government has put on hold the enforcement of its new,inclusive housing policy that makes it mandatory for all developers to construct 20 per cent additional smaller-sized apartments on their plots for public housing.

Written by Shalini Nair | Mumbai | Published:April 5, 2012 2:26 am

The state government has put on hold the enforcement of its new,inclusive housing policy that makes it mandatory for all developers to construct 20 per cent additional smaller-sized apartments on their plots for public housing.

The decision was taken after the developers’ body Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) made a representation to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan,seeking certain concessions in the rules. Government sources said the rule will be brought into force after incorporating some of the viable suggestions.

Two months ago,the state government issued a notification making it compulsory for all projects on more than 2,000 sq m plots in the urban areas to construct additional 20 per cent built-up area for smaller-sized apartments for the economically weaker sections (EWS) and the low-income groups (LIG). MHADA will buy these houses at the construction cost and sell it to those in need during their annual housing lottery. State governments are required to promote this kind of inclusive housing in private layouts under the Centre’s Rajeev Awas Yojana.

Government sources said developers have now asked that they be allowed to construct the LIG and EWS houses on a separate plot instead of having it in the same building or plot as their private project.

“It will not be possible for the LIG and EWS residents to shell out the high maintenance costs in case they are given houses in the same building,” said MCHI president Paras Gundecha. He added that the MCHI has asked the government that the instead of 2,000 sq m,the 20 per cent affordable housing rule should be applicable to only plots larger than 10,000 sq m.

“Also,the rule should be enforced for only open plot projects and not redevelopment projects as we will already be constructing extra flats to re-house the existing residents in such projects,” said Gundecha. Government sources said such a clause will exempt most projects in Mumbai where more than 80 per cent of new constructions are redevelopment projects mostly on small plots.

“Till the changes are incorporated,the policy won’t be enforced,” said a senior state government official. The MCHI has also asked the CM that instead of buying the affordable houses at construction cost,the builders could be compensated with additional FSI.

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