If you do not win any of the 4,034 state-built low-cost homes put on the block this May, your wait for the next round of housing lottery could be at least two years long.
There are indications that the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) will not bring out a lottery for its affordable apartments in the next two years.
Reason: There is only one large vacant plot in Mhada’s kitty at Powai.
Sachin Ahir, state minister for housing, said: “Presently, we have a large plot at Powai where we can construct around 2,000 affordable houses. But work there has not even started.”
Ahir added that the state housing board owns many small plots, but they would hardly generate any significant housing stock to call for a lottery.
Unlike private builders, who start bookings on under-construction projects, Mhada sells either ready houses or those close to completion.
Any housing project requires a minimum of two years.
Ahir said the state government was exploring other options to generate more housing stock in the city such as out-of-court settlements for disputed Mhada land, speedy permissions to revamp Mhada colonies or redevelop slum areas through the state.
The state government could also get a significant number of low-cost flats by redeveloping buildings located on coastal regulatory zones, where the housing board will hold a majority stake.
Housing activists, however, blame Mhada for its faulty planning.
“This is a classic case of short-sightedness and it will affect homebuyers who cannot afford the exorbitant rates charged by private developers,” said advocate Vinod Sampat, who deals with real estate issues.