In a fresh attempt to get the state's much-delayed rental housing policy back on track, the chief minister has set up a committee to review the existing policy and submit a report within a month, to make it more feasible.
CM Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday set up a committee led by Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioner Rahul Asthana and Chief Executive Officer of Mumbai Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) Satish Gavai, along with field level officers from both authorities, to go through the amendments to the policy suggested by former MMRDA chief Ratnakar Gaikwad.
The committee needs to review the policy along the lines of suggesting eligibility criteria for allotting rental homes, and whether these low-cost homes created could be converted into official quarters for government servants and other major establishments.
The committee will also look at the possibility of converting the rental homes into affordable housing for the poor, by increasing the size of tenements from the proposed 160sq feet to 400sq feet. Additionally, it will examine the possibility of providing some reservation for housing for mill workers and other needy sections.
"The CM is keen that Mhada takes over the project, instead of MMRDA. It could be transformed to an affordable housing project, making it more viable for bigger builders to jump into the fray," said a senior official.
The state government may also ask the builder to pay a premium, in exchange for the Floor Space Index offered. The rental housing scheme was launched more than two years ago by the MMRDA with a view to provide low-cost flats. The target set was 5 lakh units in five years, with rentals ranging from Rs 800 to Rs 1,400 a month, for a 160sqft flat. The eligibility criteria for tenants was an income of Rs 5,000 a month.
So far, approvals had been granted to 38 such proposals, with a majority of them in MMR’s burgeoning areas like Panvel, Raigad, Thane and Vasai. However, rental housing projects have several operational issues.