The state government plans to hand over the rental houses being constructed on the outskirts of the city to private trusts to manage.
The state plans to build 5 lakh rental units at Vasai, Thane, Bhiwandi, Karjat and Kalyan among other places under its rental housing scheme for the lowest income groups.
Work has started on 6,000 units. Private trusts will be expected to collect rent and maintain the place.
Sitaram Kunte, state housing secretary, said the aim was to ensure the assets are maintained. “We are working on the London model where the trust manages the place on our behalf,” he said.
Kunte said the private parties would be like the institution managers who manage the mutual funds in the financial markets.
“The government agencies have a poor record in maintaining places and we have lost precious assets like the BIT and BDD chawls and transit camps,” Kunte added.
The Bombay Improvement Trust (BIT) is managed by the municipal corporation while the Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) is managed by the state.
Even the transit camps constructed by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority have now become a haven for encroachers. The redevelopment plans for these structures have been lying in cold storage for a decade and the residents continue to languish in matchbox-sized rooms.
Real estate experts have welcomed the state’s move, but with apprehension.
“There should be overseer committee to keep a watch on the functioning of these trusts so that they do not become owners of the place,” said Ubaid Parker, real estate expert.