Homebuyers pegging their hopes of affordable homes on the upcoming Maharashtra Housing and Area Development (Mhada) lottery may be left disappointed, as a considerable portion of the houses up for sale are priced at a steep Rs 76.60 lakh. Moreover, most of the homes will be for high-income group buyers.
This year, 1,239 houses will be sold in the lottery , to homebuyers chosen from lakhs of applicants through the draw. Of these, 492 houses (measuring 476 sq ft and located at Tunga, Powai) will be priced at Rs76.6 lakh, while another 62 homes of 740 sq ft will be priced at Rs66 lakh.
The lottery sees a huge draw every year, in a city with exorbitant realty rates, owing to the affordable prices of the homes up for sale. This year, however, 584 homes — nearly half — are for the higher-income groups (whose monthly income is more than Rs40,000 per month).
Niranjan Sudhanshu, chief officer, Mhada (Mumbai Board) said that the cost escalation was because of two reasons — the plot in Powai was reserved for a training institute and housed a hill. “We will have to construct a training institute and incurred a heavy cost for levelling the hill. This is why the rates of the homes are higher. Despite this, he said, the homes were still affordable. “Our rates are still lower than those charged by private builders,” he added.
This year, there will be just 355 homes for the Middle Income Group (income in the range of Rs 20,000-Rs 40,000 monthly), 51 for Low Income Group (income in the range of Rs 8000- Rs 20,000 monthly) and 249 for the Economical Weaker Section (less than Rs 8000 monthly). These will be located in areas such as Charkop, Magathane, Shimpoli, Powai and Dahisar.
Activists denounced the lottery saying that such high rates would disappoint home buyers.
“Private builders are unaffordable as it is, and now, with the Mhada selling charging such exorbitant rates, residents are left with no hope,” said Ramesh Prabhu, chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA).