The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is the latest entrant to the mass-housing scene in the extended suburbs of Mumbai. It will now sell houses under its rental-housing scheme through a lottery similar to Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (Mhada).
Mhada and City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (Cidco) are the only two government agencies presently operating in the housing sector in the extended suburbs.
The move comes after a state-appointed committee recommended that only 15% of the houses built under the scheme should be given out on rent while 25% of the houses should be sold as affordable houses to the general public.
The Hindustan Times, on January 26, had reported about the recommendations made by the state-appointed committee.
"We will need to come up with a system similar to the Mhada lottery through which we will disburse these houses," said metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was worried about the poor response of the rental-housing scheme, set up the seven-member committee, headed by Asthana, to go through the policy and provide suggestions.
The rental-housing scheme was launched in 2008 with an aim to create five lakh rental houses in five years. However the scheme has evoked a poor response from builders.
So far, the MMRDA has cleared applications for 2.58 lakh homes. Out of these, 30,000 houses are likely to be completed this year.
The committee's recommendations also include increasing the house size from 160 sqft to 320 sqft.
The committee has also suggested that the entire project should be renamed as affordable rental housing instead of rental housing.
MMRDA officials were however non-committal on when it planned to rent or sell these houses.