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Activists against renting out MHADA flats immediately

MHADA says that since most lottery winners are from outside the city, their flats are unoccupied and should be rented; activists fear it may help benefit unscrupulous agents

Housing activists in the city are up in arms against the proposal by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) that lottery winners should be allowed to rent flats immediately. 


Cornering the lottery: The next lottery for sale of approximately 2,229
flats will be held next year. Activists fear that if the Mhada proposal is
passed, hawkish investors and dishonest agents might apply in large
numbers and negate the needs of genuine buyers. Representation Pic


They are opposed to the move as they feel that the proposal, if passed, will cut down the chances of the common man or a needy person winning a house, since unscrupulous agents and hawkish investors will try and corner the lottery system in large numbers. According to activists, MHADA seems to have forgotten the main reason behind instigating the lottery of providing affordable houses in the city.
 
Critical of the proposed scheme, architect and housing activist P K Das said, "I feel that this proposal should not be passed as the main intention of MHADA in coming out with the lottery of affordable houses is to provide a house to the needy. If this proposal is passed then the idea behind conducting a lottery for the needy would become illogical. Rather than enabling lottery winners to rent their flats, MHADA should initiate a procedure to verify if the houses that are allotted through the lottery system are going to the needy people or not."

Apprehensive about the suggestion, another housing activist Chandrashekhar Prabhu said, "I feel it is an inappropriate proposal and the CM should reject it."

MHADA recently submitted the proposal to the state government for approval. In the proposal, the authority has stated that the reason behind seeking permission to let the lottery winners rent the flats to other parties right away is that they are from outside the city and cannot occupy the flats themselves. As such, these people should be allowed to rent it to other parties immediately.

While interacting with reporters yesterday, MHADA Vice President Satish Gavai said, "We have sent a proposal to the state government in which we have requested the state government to allow the lottery winners allocated flats to rent out their flats immediately after winning them."

Minister of State Housing Sachin Ahir said, "At present we have received the proposal but before taking any decision we would see to it that all the aspects are taken into consideration so that a proper decision can be made."

In April this year, MiD DAY had published a story about how successful winners of the lottery in 2010 from Higher Income Groups (HIG) and Middle Income Groups (MIG) were renting and selling their flats in the MHADA society at Lokhandwala.

Taking note of the rampant irregularity, MHADA claimed that it would be undertaking surprise visits to see if the original winners were staying in the flats. Various surprise visits were even conducted but action taken was negligible.

MHADA officials maintain that shortage of staff in the vigilance department has hampered their inspections.

MHADA rules
A person who wins the house in MHADA lottery is not allowed to rent or sell the house to any person until five years. It has also been mentioned in the law that if any lottery winner rents or sells his flat before five years, he will face action from MHADA and the authority can even cancel the allotment and a case will be registered.

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