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The State Government (OLD), Urban Development Department, Mantralaya, Mumbai - 400 032 had issued a Notification on 8th November, 2013 stating that for the sub-division or layout of the land admeasuring 4000 sq.meters or more for residential purpose, minimum 20% of the Net Plot Area shall have to be provided either in the form of developed plots of 30 to 50 sq. meters size for Economically Weaker Sections/Low Income Groups (EWS/LIG) i.e. “affordable plots" in which plots of 30 sq.meters size shall be kept for EWS or in the form of equivalent 20% net plot area for constructing EWS/LIG tenements, which area shall be handed over to MHADA at the land rate prescribed in the Annual Statement of Rates prepared by the Inspector General of Registration, Maharashtra State, Pune of the year in which final approval is accorded to such sub-division or layout. (Refer to the said Notification in our this Website under the Head “Realty Updates” under Sr. No. 10)

In short, it was notified that any development of a layout exceeding an area of 4,000 Sq. meters will require reservation of 20% of the Built up Area for EWS and LIG households. (Under State Government, the EWS means monthly household income limit of Rs.16,000 per month and LIG means monthly household income limit of Rs.16,000 to Rs.40,000 per month with eligibility of 300 - 600 sq ft carpet area). Incentive FSI of 20% will be provided to the developer and tenements will be handed over to MHADA at the Ready Reckoner Rate.

However, due to severe antagonism with serious concern from the City’s Developers, the State Government (NEW) has now amended the Affordable Housing Policy that stipulated that a portion of the plots be kept to build low-cost homes free of cost.

The amendments proposed by the Urban Development Department stipulate that the builders now need not have to carve out 20% of their plots for affordable housing. Instead, they can construct cheaper tenements anywhere within the same administrative ward. The Government has not clarified the % or ratio or the number of such tenements. However, it is a question as to how many builders have plots in the same ward or if not available, can they buy out another plot in the same ward to construct these tenements as also whether such vacant plots are available in the same ward. As an incentive, the Government has offered 50% free FSI to the Developers to build such tenements on alternative plots in the same ward.

The Developers on the other hand, have adversely reacted to such benefit and are planning to oppose it because as per their say, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) provision already allows them to provide tenements in faraway wards.

The mandatory 20% Affordable Housing Scheme will not apply to the redevelopment projects of housing societies where the existing flats are having an area less than 600 sq. ft. It is not clear whether it is a carpet area or the built-up area. If the existing flats are over 600sq. ft, then the Developer will construct additional tenements but need not hand them over to the State Housing Authority, MHADA. The further confusion in the said relaxation is that these tenements will be constructed either in a separate block or in a separate wing in the same building and allotted to the housing society for use as “Service Quarters”. It is surprising that in redevelopment, what is the basis/logic or where is the need to construct “Service Quarters”.

This may further complicate the situation. It is most expected that it will lead to clash among the members of housing society on who should be allotted these tenements after the redevelopment is completed. The Government has further proposed a 300% premium on the "Applicable Rate" to be paid by such redeveloped societies if these “Service Quarters” are SOLD to the outsiders. What a ridiculous and preposterous proposal of the Government!

With regard to the applicability of the 20% reservation for affordable housing, the Government has clarified that the same will not be applicable to redevelopment projects for old and dilapidated buildings, slums, MHADA colonies, clusters and on defunct industry land as in such schemes, more than 20% of the Basic Zonal FSI is already utilized for low cost housing.

Despite the public undertakings like MHADA, SRA and MMRDA constructing few lakhs of affordable housing, yet it has reached a crisis point in Mumbai. An average salaried person can no longer afford to buy a house in Mumbai since it has the most unaffordable housing market in the country with around 30% of its under-construction housing units exceeding Rs.1crore. The tragedy of this city is that a 50% of Mumbai’s households earn less than Rs.20,000 per month.

The update in respect of various Public Housing Schemes is that during the year from 1995 to 2014, only two lakhs dwelling units have been constructed under State and Central Government Schemes and out of 4.6 lakhs dwelling units approved for construction by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority, only 33.7% have received the Occupation Certificates. No projects have taken off under Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) in Mumbai.

Various Policy Initiatives by Government of Maharashtra:
Affordable Housing schemes in Maharashtra focus on incentivizing projects through higher Floor Space Index and redevelopment of old buildings and slums. Briefly, the current policy initiatives include:

Special Township Policy: Under the Policy, a contiguous minimum area of 40 hectares can be developed as a township and 33.3% of the tenements or 20% of the total built up area is to be used for EWS/LIG houses. The Developers are provided additional 20% FSI over the Zonal FSI/FAR allowed in the Special Township.

Cluster Redevelopment: A cluster of old, dilapidated buildings or slums can be clubbed in a cluster for redevelopment, to be defined as ‘Urban Renewal Cluster’ of a minimum Size of 4,000 Sq.meters to 10,000 Sq.meters. Redevelopment can be done by MHADA, MCGM, Developers or Societies themselves.

Development/Redevelopment on MHADA land: In all Urban Areas, the FSI for development on MHADA land has been increased to 2.5; 60% tenements are to be kept aside for EWS/LIG/MIG housing. For redevelopment of old MHADA colonies in Mumbai, FSI of 3 has been granted. Societies have the option to redevelop their buildings either through Private Developers, or through MHADA.

Redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings: In the Island City of Mumbai, the buildings are very old and many of them are in dilapidated condition. Under the DCR 33(7), FSI/FAR of 3 is allowed for Redevelopment of these Cess Buildings.

Inclusive housing in layouts: Any development of a layout exceeding an area of 4,000 Sq. meters will require reservation of 20% of the Built up Area for EWS and LIG households. Incentive FSI of 20% will be provided to the developer and tenements will be handed over to MHADA at the Ready Reckoner Rate.

Slum Rehabilitation Scheme: In‐situ, transit and Project Affected Person (PAP) Schemes for slum rehabilitation undertaken by Slum Rehabilitation Authority, MHADA and MMRDA.

Affordable Housing in Mumbai Metropolitan Region: MMRDA’s rental housing scheme (2008) has been modified into an Affordable Housing scheme in November 2013. The private sector is offered incentive FSI in return for providing self‐contained tenements of 160 sq.ft carpet area along with the appurtenant land to MMRDA free of cost which shall be allotted to eligible low income group households.

Affordable Housing in Partnership: The scheme of Affordable Housing in Partnership aims to encourage private sector participation in creation of affordable housing stock, recognising that mere efforts of the Government would be insufficient to address the housing shortage. The Central Government will assist in construction of houses for EWS/LIG as part of Group Housing Schemes of the States/UTs. These housing schemes will be implemented by the States/UTs through partnership with private sector or public sector including Para State Bodies such as MHADA.

The three main state agencies responsible for implementation of these schemes are MHADA, Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and MMRDA.

The affordable homes are available only in far-flung places of Mumbai where also, the major numbers of flats have been purchased by the investors and not the needy users. The ever-growing price rise and higher attention towards premium projects in the city has restricted the purchasing capacity a common man.