With realty prices hovering at exorbitant rates, homebuyers may get reprieve if the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority aggressively pursues its joint-venture schemes with builders. According to experts, Mhada can generate 40,000 low-cost houses through this model.
On Thursday, Mhada doubled its budget for JVs with private landowners and builders to Rs 200 crore from Rs 100 crore last year.
The scheme, floated by the authority years ago, in which private landholders or builders construct and hand over apartments to the housing body in return of incentive floor space index (FSI), is seen to have great potential in generating a handsome stock of houses.
"We can build at least 40,000 houses if the scheme is implemented speedily, and that too with minimal cost," said a Mhada official who did not wish to be identified. In this scheme, Mhada pays only the construction cost of its buildings to the developer.
According to Manohar Shroff, secretary, Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (Navi Mumbai), the scheme can work wonders.
"JVs are the need of the hour, and we are ready to cooperate, but decisions should be taken faster," said Shroff. He said that such proposals are pending from 2010 onwards.
Most of these JVs are in the outskirts of the city, in areas like Thane and Navi Mumbai.
The Rs 100 crore sanctioned in Mhada's 2012-13 budget for JVs was left unutilised due to the indecision of the state government.
"We got good response from Thane and other places, but there were some problems with the policy. We have now almost solved the issue," said a Mhada official, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Mhada has also started buying land in some of the emerging markets, and has sanctioned Rs575 crore in Pune and Rs78 crore at Nagpur for purchase of land and construction of low-costs houses.