A committee appointed by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to review the rental housing scheme recommends that the state build affordable houses rather than rental ones and that it increase their size from 169 sq ft to 269 sq ft.
The rental scheme, launched in 2008, was meant to offer five lakh houses in five years, but it’s nowhere close to its goal.
If the recommendations made by the committee, headed by the MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana, are accepted, at least 2.58 lakh low-cost flats will become available in areas such as Kalyan and Panvel.
Building affordable homes could impact realty prices, say some builders. “Currently the prices are high as there is no stock. This can be reversed through more housing stock,” said Dharmesh Jain, chairman and MD, Nirmal Lifestyle.
The panel has not specified what it means by affordable homes, but the Mhada sold a 300 sq ft flat in Malad for as low as Rs15 lakh this year.
Experts are sceptical of the impact of low-cost homes on rates. “Infrastructure and connectivity have to be improved to ensure good standard of living,” said Sunder Dinesh from Liases Foras, a real estate research firm.