An apartment with a bedroom, a hall and a kitchen overall measuring 437 square feet in Pratiksha Nagar, Sion may be the best that the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority has to offer in its housing lottery this year. It costs Rs 30 lakh and is within city limits. Its central location and affordability explain why 1,500 applicants are in the running to bag this lucky draw.
The apartment, belonging to the middle-income group (MIG) category, is among the most affordable houses in this lottery, given that the housing authority’s MIG homes in Kandivli cost around Rs 53 lakh. Vishal Deshmukh, deputy chief officer, MHADA’s Mumbai board, said, “The price for this (Sion) flat is competitive. It is centrally located. Hence, we got so many applications for it.”
According to a senior officer from MHADA, the Pratiksha Nagar apartment is the cheapest in MIG category in island city. Though, if one takes into account the suburbs, the apartment in Malad-Malwani is priced at Rs 29 lakh. “The Malad-Malwani flat cannot be compared with the Pratiksha Nagar flat as Sion is within Mumbai, whereas Malad is in the city’s suburbs. Also, the market rate in Sion is higher, but the MHADA flats are available at cheaper rates,” said the officer.
For the 1,244 homes that are up for grabs in this year’s MHADA lottery, the authority received 88,921 applications from across the state. The highest number of applications came for the apartment in Pratiksha Nagar. Next in demand are the 62 apartments in the economically weaker section (EWS) category in Borivli, which together received the second highest number of applications: 14,090.
The response for MHADA’s affordable housing lottery has not been as great as last year. This year, a total of 1,19,742 people filled the online lottery forms, of which 88,921 applicants deposited the earnest money with the authority. In 2012, for nearly 2,500 homes, some 1.5 lakh people filled the forms. The pricing for MHADA’s homes, which is more or less the same as the market rate, has been a major deterrent for the common man. For example, the carpet area rates of flats in Powai go up to Rs 16,000 per sq ft, which is close to the existing market rate. The lottery results would be out on May 31.