Considering the size of housing units the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has been selling for the last few years, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to state that MHADA homes are no longer affordable. And the latest lottery announcement only bolsters the theory.
MHADA houses at Tunga village in Powai are priced at Rs 20,000/sqft, which is higher than the existing market rate. Pic/ Prabhanjan Dhanu
For its 927 dwellings up for grabs across Mumbai — Mulund, Powai and Dahisar — during the August 10 lottery, one of the locations at which the housing authority would be offering flats is at Tunga village in Powai. But the rate charged here is Rs 20,000/sqft, which is almost Rs 3,000-5,000 higher than the existing property rates in the area.
Justifying the higher cost, a MHADA officer said the authority has invested a lot of money in this project and so the prices are higher.
Moreover, MHADA is charging as per built-up area, rather than carpet area, which is against its own norms. Going by this formula, several dwellings will have a mere 40% carpet area.
Subhas Lakhe, chief officer of MHADA’s Mumbai board, said, “We only charge as per the carpet area. Yes, the cost of flats in Powai is on the higher side. This is because we’ve spent a lot of money on cutting a hill for constructing the housing project.”
Questioned about the massive deficit between the built-up and carpet areas, Lakhe said he would be able to comment only after studying the necessary documents.
A senior MHADA officer claimed that since the builders sell on built-up area, the housing authority mentioned built-up area in its yesterday’s advert. The ad also stated that those interested in buying MHADA houses can start applying on the website from tomorrow.
Architect Arqam Shaikh from Arc Associates said, “Built-up area is 1.2 times the carpet area. But, MHADA’s current offering doesn’t fit the existing formula. Usually, builders term such a huge difference as super built-up, but MHADA here is calling it built-up.”
In sharp contrast with the decrease in the size of MHADA dwellings with each passing year, the prices of the houses are skyrocketing.
While a MHADA dwelling in Dahsiar cost Rs 25 lakh in 2009, the same house is now worth Rs 63 lakh and above. Also, this year, the lottery has been shifted from May to August.
MHADA is charging Rs 61 lakh for a carpet area of nearly 297 sqft in Tunga Powai, which is Rs 20,000/sqft. In the same area, dwellings measuring 950 sqft are available for Rs 1.5 crore, which is about Rs 15,700/sqft.