In a move likely to free up 25 hectares that could be used to build 15,000 affordable houses, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has decided to redevelop 84 slums pockets on their land in a joint venture with private developers.
“As it is our land, we plan to redevelop it with private players. We will float tenders and those offering the maximum housing stock to Mhada will win the bid,” said a Mhada official, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Of the 84 slum pockets, 70% are located in the western suburbs, 25% in the eastern suburbs and 5% in the island city.
The development authority has earmarked a formula under which the builder will have to rehabilitate the existing slum dwellers in 269 sqft apartments on Mhada’s land.
Instead of charging them a premium, Mhada will take ready flats from the developers and give them the development rights for the land.
The builder who offers Mhada the maximum number of flats will win the bid.
He will also get the remaining flats as compensation, which can then be sold in the open market.
In the past few years, given the exorbitant real estate prices quoted by private builders, the demand for Mhada houses, which are low-cost and with clear land titles, has gone up.
Builders and housing activists have said that the scheme would provide muchneeded relief to homebuyers.
Dhaval Ajmera, director, Ajmera Group, said, “It will boost the housing stock. But it is important for the state to be consistent with the policy.”
Housing activist Utsal Karani, secretary, Janhit Manch, said, “The state should fast-track the scheme to ensure that it doesn’t remain just on paper.”