Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan issued orders on Wednesday that the size of houses being built under MMRDA's rental housing scheme, which has now been partially converted into a low-cost housing scheme, should be increased from 160 sq ft to 300 sq ft.
"The CM was keen about tenement density in the scheme. He was concerned we don't end up creating vertical slums," a senior official present for the meeting said.
In a move which could create close to 1.25 lakh low-cost homes in the periphery of Mumbai, Chavan has ordered that the rental housing scheme be converted into an affordable housing scheme (see page 1).
The CM also set up a three-member committee of MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana, additional chief secretary Urban Development Department T C Benjamin and Principal Secretary Housing Gautam Chatterjjee to work on how to integrate the state government's mega city and special township scheme with the rental housing scheme so that a minimum of 20% affordable houses are created in both these programmes.
The rental housing scheme was launched with much fanfare in 2008 by the MMRDA with an aim to crate 5 lakh rental houses in five years with the help of private builders, by giving them incentive. However the response from builders was poor. Many experts had also complained that the scheme was not viable. Chavan then set up a committee under Asthana, who recommended that the scheme should be made more people-friendly.