This year, those earning more than Rs 70,000 a month will not be able to apply for a low-cost house through the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (MHADA) annual draw of affordable houses.
Of the 997 houses the authority plans to sell this year, it has not advertised for any homes for its higher-income category (HIG), which refers to those earning more than Rs 70,000 a year. More than 40 per cent of the houses to be sold, 430, are for the lower-income category (LIG). Besides, the authority has advertised for 326 houses for the economically weaker sections (EWS) and 241 for the middle-income group category (MIG).
As per MHADA norms, those earning up to Rs 16,000 a month are classified as EWS. Those who have a monthly income of Rs 16,000 to Rs 40,000 fall in the LIG. The MIG refers to those earning between Rs 40,000 and Rs 70,000 a month.
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A senior MHADA official said, “This year, we took a conscious decision of only including those houses which will be ready in six months. If the processes of determining eligibility, receiving payment and so on are completed, we should be able to deliver the houses latest by December. There were no houses at that stage of readiness for the higher-income group.”
The official added that in the past few years, the authority had been advertising a large number of houses for sale across categories, but was unable to complete the projects for 2-3 years on end after selling them, earning MHADA a bad name.
In 2014, MHADA had advertised for 844 houses of which a sizable number, 245, was for the higher-income group.
The houses on sale this year are located in areas such as Malvani, Mulund, Goregaon, Mankhurd and Pratiksha Nagar with the sizes ranging from 269.3 square feet for the EWS category in Goregaon to 478.7 square feet in Mulund for the MIG.
The cost of houses this year is moderate as compared to the past few years when the prices of MHADA tenements were inching closer to the market rate. This year, the most expensive set of houses are priced at Rs 9,737.6 per square feet based on the carpet area. These houses for the MIG, with a carpet area of 478.7 square feet each, are located in Gavanpada in Mulund East, where the market rate is around Rs 15,000 per square feet. “We have tried to temper the components in the pricing policy as much as possible to reduce cost. This year, the MHADA houses are at a 50-55 per cent discount to the market rate,” the MHADA official said.