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Maharashtra to invite builders to partner MHADA for affordable housing
LIVE MINT  |  February 21, 2020

Mumbai

The Maharashtra government plans to invite private real estate developers to join hands with the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) to build affordable houses.

 

"MHADA will be happy to tie up with private developers. We will be equity partners and are willing to take risks," said housing minister Jitendra Satish Awhad at an event organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and real estate consultancy firm Anarock Property Consultants Ltd on Thursday.

 

MHADA plans to pick up equity in these projects and facilitate faster approvals along with providing additional support to the developers.

 

"The day I took charge I had announced I'm pro-builder. I will do whatever it takes to build affordable homes. So far, we have only been facilitator. Now I feel we need to change our approach. I want real estate developers to join hands with us and become equity partners in projects undertaken by MHADA,"he said.

 

The move also comes at a time when the central government focuses on boosting supply of affordable housing projects as part of its initiative "Housing for All by 2022". Last year, the Union finance minister had announced forming 󌡝,000-crore alternative investment fund (AIF) to finance last mile funding of stalled projects in the affordable as well as mid-income housing category.

 

Awhad also said the government plans to take away some of the land under Special Economic Zone (SEZ) which has been lying unused to build affordable housing in Maharashtra.

 

"I want to plan to take some part of the land which is unused SEZ near Mumbai...because land is a big issue here as we are island city," he said.

 

However, this plan is in line with the Maharashtra State Housing Policy & Action Plan 2015 introduced by previous chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The draft policy has not been tabled in the assembly, but the government plans to bring it soon, the minister added.

 

According to industry experts, it would be a win-win situation for the housing market if builders join hands with the government.

 

"This will be a lethal combination as MHADA will bring credibility, assurance and faster approvals to the table, while private developers will get design, efficiency and agility making a win-win for all. As the state government body is getting involved at the project level, financing terms will also get easier," Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock Property Consultants, on the sidelines of the event.

 

The minister also said he has recently met State Bank of India chairman and plans to meet representatives of Indian Banks Association (IBA) to discuss the financing situation in the real estate market.