With no trust in builders, self-redevelopment takes off in Mumbai


The state housing authority (Mhada) is getting ready to approve two proposals of Shatabdi society at Kannamwar Nagar, Vikhroli, and Orion society in Charkop to redevelop their properties themselves without a builder. In self-redevelopment, societies can appoint their own architect, contractor and project management consultant to execute the project.


On the third floor of the Mhada headquarters in Bandra (east), a special redevelopment cell has been formed to assist housing societies that are keen to go it alone.


“Initially, it took us 180 days to approve a proposal. We plan to reduce it to 60 days," said Bhushan Desai, Mhada’s resident executive engineer in charge of self-redevelopment.


Societies which have so far submitted self-redevelopment proposals are all located on Mhada land and will avail of a development control regulation meant for redevelopment of Mhada properties. The state government increased the floor space index for redevelopment of Mhada societies from 2.5 to 3. Several of these societies are working with global property consultant Knight Frank India, which will act as a project management consultant.


Mhada CEO Milind Mhaiskar said the authority has already held several workshops to guide society members. “The issue so far has been the trust deficit between builders and society members. People were at their (builders’) mercy. Now developers have competition," he said.


Housing activist Chandrashekhar Prabhu, who is advising housing societies to opt for self-redevelopment, said 5,800 builder-driven schemes have been stalled in Mumbai, affecting 1.20 lakh families. “The self-redevelopment scheme has received a tremendous response and it is converting itself into a movement," he said.


Mulund’s Purvrang society is the first self-redevelopment project to receive Mhada’s approval. Its 56 members had heard enough stories about redevelopment projects stuck due to differences between developers and societies. “We surveyed all redevelopment projects in Mulund and found most were stalled, some for over ten years," said Milind Mahadik, secretary of Purvrang society.


To avoid hindrances, the society decided to adopt the self redevelopment model and received 100% approval from all the residents.


“Funding the project was our main concern, but the Mumbai Cooperative Bank supported us by giving in principle approval of Rs 12 cr as project finance. Our project will cost around Rs 60 cr, but considering the cash flow statement, 20%-30% borrowing is sufficient for the project," said Mahadik.


Flats in Purvrang society(7 floors with two wings) are less than 400 sqft each. Under self-redevelopment, the society calculated that each member will get 800 sqft carpet area in a new 22-storey tower with extra amenities. “Builders were offering only 600 sqft in our locality," said Mahadik.


Saidham society at Pantnagar, Ghatkopar, too received Mhada’s green signal last week. The low-income group (LIG) 3-storey building constructed in 1966 has 32 members, each possessing a 323 sqft home.


“Builders were offering us 484 sqft flats, but under self-redevelopment we can each get 1,000 sqft flats,” said society secretary Shripad Mordekar. The plan is to build an 18-storey building with a Rs 58 cr loan from a cooperative bank. “We will receive 45 additional flats in the free sale component," he added.


In Chembur’s Chitra Society, the third society to receive Mhada’s approval last week, members have planned a new 14-storey tower to replace their 1956-constructed dilapidated building. “We expect 32 extra flats that will be sold at less than the market rate in the new tower," said K B Kadam, society secretary.


Dr Nilima Vaidya of Gandhinagar Samadhan cooperative housing society in Bandra (east) is thrilled that all the 24 members unanimously approved self-redevelopment recently. “We initiated our redevelopment process way back in 2010 by approaching builders. But the developer we selected backed out because Mhada’s premium went up four times and he found it financially unviable," she said.


Early this month, the society advertised for a project management consultant. “We could get up to 950 sqft flats," said Vaidya. The 1958-built LIG building has 220 sqft flats.


Said Prabhu, "I know of at least 150 housing societies who have passed resolutions to undertake self- redevelopment. It is in fierce reaction to the cheating of residents by fly-by-night developers."


He added, "Residents will get bigger flats and more corpus than what any developer could even think of giving."

Written by The Realty Paper

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