Affordable Housing Policy Amendments Notified
The department of town and country planning has notified the amendments to the Affordable Housing Policy of 2013, which allow changes to the size of housing projects, car parks and an increase in the commercial component of the project areas.
This amendment will help in expanding the footprint of affordable housing in the state, particularly in Gurugram, as there has been a high demand for such projects in the city. Last year, the department had increased the area available for the development of affordable housing projects in residential sectors, given the high interest of the buyers.
The department expects a majority of developers to apply for changes under the amended policy, so that the projects become attractive for buyers and more profitable for them. At present, there are 80 housing projects being developed, with around 45,000 housing units in all.
The minimum and maximum areas allowed for such projects will be four acres and 30 acres, respectively. However, the department will also consider license applications for two acres if the net planned area of 25 acres has already been licensed. The notification stated that if applications for more than 25 acres of net planned area in a sector are received, then successful applications shall be decided by draw of lots. Earlier, the minimum and maximum areas for such projects were five acres and 10 acres, respectively.
Developers seeking the benefit of the present amendment shall be required to submit a fresh application, as per the notification. The norms of community sites shall remain as per the original policy, but for projects larger than 10 acres, the developer will have to provide additional community site for every 10 acres.
The amendment also provides for an increase in the commercial component, from 4% to 8%. The notification states that developers of ongoing projects can also benefit from the changes, provided occupation certificates of all residential towers in a project have not been obtained. The developer also needs to obtain approvals from two-thirds of homebuyers for increasing the commercial component.
The amended policy also allows developers to provide space for parking one car with each dwelling unit, at a rate not more than 5% of the flat cost. A DTCP official said that an average cost of a car park is likely to be fixed between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh, and is likely to find favour with a majority of buyers in such projects. Earlier, there was no provision for car parks in an affordable housing project and it was seen as a great hindrance for this segment.