Even as the cost of housing is skyrocketing in Mumbai, an ambitious proposal to create at least 500,000 houses as part of a “Homes for All” initiative between the real estate industry and the Maharashtra Government is gathering dust in the ministry.
The proposal, signed in April 28, 2010, between MCHI-CREDAI and the State Government, sought to find answer to the burning issue of affordable housing.
“The parties agree and acknowledge that today there is a severe deficit of good affordable housing availability in the Mumbai and MMR,” the MoU said explaining the “initiative and a pledge for maximising the construction of more Affordable Homes” in the Mumbai and MMR known as “HOMES FOR ALL” and has approached the GOM for its support and aid in the course of enabling the members of MCHI to create more Affordable Homes in the Mumbai and MMR and the GOM has agreed to extend all necessary co-operation, including legislative revamp, development potential incentives to developers, and authorising the nodal agency to provide for a single window clearance to projects comprising Affordable Homes.
“Yes, this was the initiative of MCHI-CREDAI on behalf of the developer community in Mumbai and MMR area,” says Paras Gundecha.
‘The overall objective of the initiative was to go for construction so as to address the yawning housing demand-supply gap and to provide affordable homes to the EWS, LIG and MIG groups,” Gundecha says.
But not a single paper moved after that despite the MCHI-CREDAI reminders to the government at various levels though, as per the MoU, the State Government was to extend all necessary cooperation.
The MoU envisaged government steps like including revamping legislation, offering incentives to developers, and authorising the nodal agency to provide for a single window clearance to projects comprising affordable homes.
The immediate objective of the initiative was to provide more affordable homes to economically weaker section, lower income and the middle income groups in the society so that the housing deficit in Mumbai and MMR could be brought under control.
Gundecha lamented at the fact that the initiative remained on paper while the availability of housing for the common man continued to be a dream.
The availability of 500,000 houses could have easily eased the demand-supply mismatch and kept the market rates under some kind of a check, and we could have made history with this unique public-private joint effort. But unfortunately today Mumbai has emerged as the costliest real estate market, he said.
As per the MoU, the Government was to appoint a nodal agency to handle approvals though a single window clearance to all such projects and plan roll out was to begin in 60 days of signing of the agreement. But nothing has moved even after 24 months!