The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) is set to release 4,468 affordable houses during its annual lottery in May-June this year. However, owing to the housing board’s greatly depleted land bank within city limits, of the total houses, only 17 per cent of the houses are scattered across different areas of Mumbai while the remaining homes are located in far-flung Virar.
State minister for Housing Ravindra Waikar announced on Wednesday that about 785 houses will be available in Mumbai. Of this 182 homes would be in Goregaon for those from the economically weaker sections while 66 homes in Mankhurd and 232 homes in Malvani will be for the low-income group (LIG) segments.
About 249 houses would be released in Gavanpada in Mulund while merely 56 homes would be available the Sion Pratiksha Nagar complex, both for the middle-income group segment.
The remaining 3,683 LIG and MIG apartments would be in MHADA’s Bolinj project in Virar. This year’s annual lottery would not only stand out for the lowest number of public housing stock being released by MHADA within BMC limits but also for the fact that not a single home will be available in the high income category which comprises of modest two bedroom apartments.
According to MHADA officials, the housing board’s housing stock in Mumbai has been almost reduced to zilch with no land available to construct anymore homes within the city.
“We are trying to buy land stock in peripheral areas but we are in no position to purchase land within Mumbai at the present rates. Much of our stock is now in Virar,” said the official.
In Virar, about 6000 homes are under construction by MHADA as part of its massive affordable housing project. However even this housing stock is set to be hit as recently the Vasai-Virar municipal corporation reserved 6327 sq mts of the total land for a crematorium.
“This would mean loss of 560 potential houses that could have been constructed on this land. We are trying to get the urban development department to delete the reservation so that the affordable housing stock is not affected, “ said an official.
“The annual lottery would be mostly held in May-June this year. A month before that, we will hold a lottery for 66 houses for the differently-abed category in keeping with a Bombay high court ruling which increased the per cent of homes reserved for them from 2 to 3 per cent,” said Waikar.
The ruling was in keeping with the ‘Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995’ and accordingly MHADA has to deliver on the extra one per cent homes with retrospective effect from 2011, the year of filing the public interest litigation.