It has emerged as the most apt solution to the redevelopment problem in Mumbai

India’s financial capital Mumbai has nearly 14,000 buildings that are in dire need of redevelopment, according to private estimates. The shocking number of old buildings in Mumbai is a matter of concern, as news of such buildings collapsing is on the rise. While MHADA has helped in repairing 1000 dilapidated buildings, more than 3000 buildings have been repaired by the Society members themselves. In Mumbai, while increasing costs and shortage of space makes it impossible for residents to move out of ageing and derelict buildings, for them the concept of self-redevelopment has become a dream come true to have a new, better & safe home to stay.

Close to 5,800 projects are stuck due to Builders’ failure to fulfil their obligations. Many of them have defaulted on paying for the temporary accommodations rented by the displaced residents, leaving them with no other option but to stay with their close relatives. On the contrary, self-redevelopment allows Societies to act as Builders, hire Contractors, Architects, control the use of land and retain the profit that otherwise would have gone to the Builder. Perturbed by the frequent cases of fraud by real estate Builders or slow-paced progress of Projects under them, the residents of several Co-operative Housing Societies in Mumbai embraced a newer model of rebuilding self-redevelopment.

Taking this into consideration, self-redevelopment has emerged as one of the most apt solutions to the housing problem in Mumbai. In the self-redevelopment model, Society members resort to the project redevelopment of their homes themselves. Within this framework, the Society has complete authority to select the right set of professionals to implement the process, raise funds and conduct feasibility studies. The arrangement ensures faster project delivery, higher profits and complete control over the use of the land, keeping the fallacious Builders at bay. The funds raised are then used for initial expenses of recruiting professionals such as Contractor, Architect, Accountants, Legal advisor, and so on, for the execution of the project, and the sale of the extra units developed in the process.

Under self-redevelopment, the homeowners are the sole benefit reapers as they save more and earn profits. The homeowners have complete control over the quality of construction, the completion timeline, and enjoy more surplus funds because they retain the right to sell surplus homes generated in the redevelopment process. Different professionals are hired for the execution and management of the project. Hence, they have no binding authority on the project, and the Society is free to plan and design the new construction, easing the rent allotment procedure and acquisition of extra space.

To accelerate this process, the government has already launched the self-redevelopment scheme, with MHADA promoting a single window system for the prompt processing of self-redevelopment proposals, while the MDCC Bank has sanctioned loans to provide financial support to housing societies undertaking self-redevelopment, thus giving a boost to the popularity of this approach.

The foremost thing for a building to go under self-redevelopment is the consensus among members regarding the project. There is a high level of competence, legal and construction expertise, constant monitoring of changing mandates, proficient management of loans and conflict, project sales, and excellent communication and coordination skills that are required to undertake a self-redevelopment project.

To avoid inefficiency arising from this, Societies should hire a professional team to initiate and monitor the entire self-redevelopment process. They, in turn, handle all the layered complications and procedures, from the conceptualization and the fundraising, to the ultimate execution of the project. By simplifying and accelerating the process, the benefits of self-redevelopment are retained, the process is hassle-free, and the society maintains power over the project. Collaborating with such a team of experts allows the community to extract maximum advantage from the self-redevelopment process.

On the whole, self-redevelopment is a pragmatic solution to the conventional problem and is emerging as a movement. In fact, many housing societies in Mumbai are resorting to it now. Not only does it assure government support to the distressed residents of old buildings but also ensures better planning, construction and timely delivery of the projects.