By Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi
By Accommodation Times News Services
Conventions and Conferences are now a days becoming platform for enhancing individual public images and PR. Enhancing brands of the firm and individuals. PR agencies are making all stones un-turn to give public platforms to their clients. In the history of real estate, all conventions have been forgotten and words spoken from the podium did not had Will and intentions but for personal advantages and brand building exercise.
Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) hosted one such Convention. Convention “Homes for All” in association with the state government in Mumbai on April 28, 2010 was held at Y B Chavan Auditorium, Nariman Point Mumbai. The Association MCHI, a public Trust is one of the leading associations of developers, had embarked on an ambitious plan of facilitating the creation of 5 lakh affordable houses over the next 5 years in close coordination with the state government and other housing bodies of the government.
MCHI press release then said “MCHI will be working in partnership with the State Government to examine and identify measures to strengthen the housing industry’s role in the socio-economic development of the State. In relation, it will also seek to formulate measures that will aid in the development of affordable homes and ensure their availability across the Mumbai and MMR Region.” The release further said “We strongly believe that our efforts would result in creation of quality housing stocks which could be effectively used to house the needy especially from the economically challenged sections”.
We are closely working with the state government and the government officials to work out the modalities of the scheme. All the members of MCHI are solidly behind this exemplary initiative and the active support from the state government would help us in successfully executing the initiative”, the release said just before the convention to begin.
Leaders of the industry and members of managing committee made a strong point from podium to work under the cause. Not only they urged the urgency but had made figures announced which would construct in next five years. The minutes of the convention with Accommodation Times and as author was also one of the delegate, was convinced by the declaration of the convention.
The glaring need and acute imbalance between the need for the housing and the woefully inadequate supply of quality houses has spurred the organisation to come out with the new proposal, said the charter presented at the convention so general public by and large understood that the chamber was seriously thinking giving affordable and housing for economical weaker section of the society.
According to Cushman and Wakefield report, the demand for affordable housing is expected to increase by approximately 400,000 units every year in the country. According to Mr. Pankaj Kapoor, CEO Liases Foras, a research firm in real estate, every year 40,000 units are sold in MMR. Out of which 35% only accounts to Poor Housing (23%) and Affordable housing which ranges between Rs.30 to 60 Lakh (12%) is included. In the name of affordable housing people are constructing even 70 kms from Mumbai. Who will occupy these units? He asked.
The charter identified the demand as : Mumbai has an immediate demand of approximately 1.4 million homes, of which, 80% of the demand is expected to emanate from the 3-5 lakh income group. None of the ongoing schemes cater to such income group neither state government gave any hope to such demand and need for shelter. None of the state policy had addressed the need. The partnership of convention between MCHI and state government of Maharashtra was an eye wash while former completely engaged in property exhibitions in Mumbai and all its attention was to lobby government for land release and FSI incentives in Island city and for premium housing. BMC introduced fungible FSI concept and State Government imposed VAT on construction of Houses. None of them had given a serious thought to the charter of the convention. Schemes and objectives of convention were used for personal advantages and lobbying the government bureaucrats who were present on the stage and with leaders who found later hand in globe with builders.
Affordable housing is one of the most talked about issues in the real estate over the past several years and very vberant all season subject to lure government officials on stage and share dais.
The challenge is to provide affordable homes for every family in Mumbai and the MM Region. There are also very few houses in the affordable income bracket that are being constructed across Mumbai and the distant suburbs. Around 60% of the population of Mumbai lives in informal housing. Therefore, affordable homes should be the focus of all concerned stakeholders. By hosting the Homes for All convention we intend to provide a clear blueprint to address the issues at hand and the appropriate way forward, said the release but with the clear intention of ditching all section of the society and making fool of all stakeholders. The ‘Homes For All’ convention will be hosted again and again and again with a clear stage for PR agencies lobbying for their clients.