Corpus for social housing maintenance in offing
The government has prepared a draft 'housing policy for all-2015'
Mar 11, 2015
Source : The Times of India


BHUBANESWAR: Real estate developers may soon have to create a corpus for future maintenance of the affordable housing projects following a latest government move.

The government has prepared a draft 'housing policy for all-2015'. The draft suggests developers would contribute two per cent of the project costs in case of social housing projects to create the maintenance fund. The fund would be managed by the respective housing societies of the projects for future repair and maintenance.

According to the draft, which is currently under the scrutiny of the law department, government developers such as Odisha State Housing Board, Bhubaneswar Development Authority and Cuttack Development Authority as well as private developers have to create such a fund for social housing.

It also suggests that low-cost housing projects, meant for economically weaker sections (EWS) and lower income group (LIG) buyers, will have neighbourhood shopping complexes. Rent generated from these complexes will also go towards the respective housing societies for repair and maintenance. "It may be difficult for EWS and LIG beneficiaries to pool in money to repair the apartments. That is why the government plans a long-term move for maintenance of apartment blocks meant for them," a senior government officer said.

According to the draft, a proposed Odisha State Urban Housing Mission will supervise housing needs in the state. Government sources said the new policy would replace the existing revised affordable housing policy 2013 and slum rehabilitation policy of the government.

According to the government's existing affordable housing scheme, private developers have to earmark 10 per cent of the built-up area for EWS category in all their projects whose size exceeds 2,000 square metres. The condition will remain in the proposed policy as well.

The government move has invited mixed reactions. "It is for the government to encourage low cost housing by giving incentives to developers. Any such fund would mean increase in cost of projects. The government should compensate for that in some way. For example, it can give equivalent benefit in floor area ratio," said Umesh Patnaik, president, Association for Odisha Real Estate Developers (AFORD).

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