Anthony Cutinho has been applying for the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA’s) lottery unsuccessfully for the past nine years. On his tenth attempt on Wednesday, he emerged victorious and secured a house. “My decade-old wait is finally over and my patience has paid off,” said Cutinho.
For 39-year-old winner, Mahadev Narayane, it will be a shift from the slums of Dharavi to a concrete MHADA building at Malad. He bagged a 1 BHK house for Rs23 lakh.
With real estate prices skyrocketing, lakhs of buyers find MHADA low-cost houses a good alternative. This can be gauged from the fact that despite realty sales shrinking daily, the demand for MHADA houses has gone up manifold. As many as 1.36 lakh buyers had applied for the 972 houses put the on block by MHADA. The houses range from Rs8.17 lakh for a 261-square foot house at Malvani to Rs83.86 lakh for a 1291-square foot apartment at Shailendra Nagar in Dahisar. Other areas where houses have been put on sale include Borivli, Chandivli, Goregaon, Chembur, Kurla and Mankhurd.
According to Ravindra Waikar, minister of state for housing, the state government is working out means to ensure more affordable houses for citizens. “Those who could not make it this time need not worry. We are working on creating a huge stock of affordable houses in the future,” said Waikar.
Though a majority of the applicants were disappointed, they said they will try their luck again. Sachin Dhumal, who has been applying from the past six years, said only MHADA can offer houses within his budget. “I can only get a MHADA house in the city as my budget is Rs25 lakh-Rs30 lakh,” said Dhumal. Similarly, Mahim resident Rahul Akre, 35, who had applied for the first time, said he will try again next year. “It is difficult for my growing family to adjust in a small house,” said Akere.
According to Hemant Patil, Public Relations Officer (PRO), MHADA, the housing board has ensured maximum transparency in the entire lottery process. “It is fully-computerized and monitored by eminent people. We have deployed technology such as live webcast of the event, as well as informing the winners through text messages and smails,” said Patil. “The result will be uploaded on our website by evening,” he added.
In the last 10 MHADA draws, 14.94 buyers applied for the 23,895 houses put on sale by the housing body.