Affordable housing will get a boost
Huda, which has been has been developing sectors and providing civic amenities, selling plots, helping private realtors develop condominiums, etc, across Haryana’s cities since it’s formation some 35 years ago, is at the crossroads these days, with the imminent formation of the Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA). With Gurgaon — Huda’s cash cow — gone, it sees its future in providing affordable housing to stay relevant in the days to come.
Huda’s existing role — to develop external infrastructure, create and maintain civic services like water, sewerage and carry out developmental works in the city — will be taken over by GMDA. Huda’s role will be reduced to estate management — managing unsold plots in sectors developed by it.
“Huda will have to shift its focus towards providing affordable housing to lower income groups and middle class,” said the officer on special duty (OSD) of GMDA, V Umashankar, adding that Huda, which till now was catering to middle and upper-middle class customers, will now have to shift focus to housing for the poor and middle classes. Already, Huda’s future role is under discussion, and there is need to come up with a policy in this regard, he added.
“In the long run, Gurgaon will have two agencies — GMDA and MCG. GMDA will provide external development and infrastructure development, while MCG will look after internal development, development and maintenance of civic amenities in colonies and areas under municipal limits,” said Umashankar, adding that Huda will continue to exist, but will have no role in providing and maintaining civic amenities.
This is why it can focus on providing affordable housing instead.
Under Haryana government’s Affordable Group Housing Policy, 2013, 300 acres were reserved for such projects in Gurgaon. Till now, the government has given 135 licenses for 162 acres, on which, 29,160 units of affordable housing are under construction.
Besides, there are around 8,000 affordable houses Huda has built for lower income groups in the last five years, which are unoccupied. Several times in last few years, the authority had invited applications for allotment of these homes, but found no takers.
Huda wants to explore other ways to stay relevant in Gurgaon as well.
“We’ve transferred most of our sectors. Remaining sectors will also be transferred soon. Master services like water, sewerage and drainage will go to GMDA, so our engineering wing will be left with limited work of estate management,” said a senior Huda official, adding Huda will perform whatever task is assigned to it by the government.