One look at the ads for MHADA’s nearly 2,700 homes up for grabs in this year’s lottery and it is apparent that the state housing body is fast catching up with the archetype of the canny Mumbai builder.

As a case in point, consider clause #2 in the ads, which states that there are chances that the area and price of a flat won in the housing lottery may change. Moreover, the number of flats itself is liable to change. So, say you win a house in lottery. MHADA can then charge you extra money or give you smaller house than promised, the way a city builder demands.

The number of houses may also come down from what the authority has planned today. Clause #5 in the ads states that water and electricity connections to the houses is the concern of different authorities and the housing body cannot guarantee that these essential supplies wouldn’t arrive late.

There have been instances where MHADA has handed over flats to winning candidates, but there was no water available in the houses. Not only this, but for the first time, MHADA, in its advertisements, has mentioned the built-up area and the carpet area of houses, as many builders do, even when they are supposed to sell the flats only on carpet area.

But when mid-day contacted the chief officer of MHADA’s Konkan board, Bhausaheb Dangde, he denied the vagaries suggested in the ad. “For our flats, there won’t be any change in the description mentioned in our advertisements,” he said.

MHADA’s cautionary stance comes after many disputes with lottery winners in the past, which have made it wary enough to add these clauses. Last year, some winners returned the houses back to the authority after it jacked up prices without intimating them: the rates of the homes were raised because their area had been expanded.