MUMBAI: To ensure that housing projects for senior citizens are customised to the specific requirements of this age group, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) on February 6 unveiled draft model guidelines for such projects. With this, it has become the first housing regulatory body in India to promulgate provisions for retirement housing projects.
The union ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) had earlier issued model guidelines and asked state regulators to take appropriate steps to introduce regulations. Accordingly, MahaRERA has come up with the framework for Maharashtra.
The primary reason why the model guidelines were drafted was feedback received by the Authority that several developers were wrongly advertising their real estate projects as “retirement homes”, misleading prospective buyers. The authority also learnt that several of these projects were not designed keeping in mind the requirements of senior citizens.
The model guidelines look at a broad spectrum of needs and specify points that developers should take into account while designing buildings, including lifts and ramps, staircases, corridors, kitchens, bathrooms, lighting and ventilation, safety and security. Once the guidelines are implemented, developers will have to include some of the special provisions in the sale agreement and other relevant documents, and senior citizen housing projects will have to be built as per the model guidelines.
The draft, titled ‘Regulation of Retirement Homes’, has been uploaded on MahaRERA’s website and the Authority has invited suggestions and views on the guidelines from all stakeholders. These can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 29.
According to a report titled ‘The Rise of Senior Living Market in India’, released by JLL in November 2023, the senior population percentage of 10 percent in 2023 is expected to double by 2050, with five percent of this population in the above-75 age bracket. The report said that the top 10 operators in the senior living segment had a combined market share of over 50 percent, and prominent players included Columbia Pacific Communities, Vedaanta, Ashiana, Paranjape (Athashri), Primus and Antara.
“South Indian cities accounted for 68 percent of senior living projects, followed by West India with 14 percent, North India with 10 percent, East India with four percent and central India with 2 percent, the report said. Forty-three percent of the existing supply of homes was 2BHK units, 26 percent 1BHKs, 10 percent 3BHKs, and 10 percent independent villas. Senior living is an important and growing segment,” said Karan Singh Sodi, Senior MD, MMR & Gujarat at JLL India.
Ajoy Mehta, chairman of MahaRERA said that in a changing society, senior housing projects were becoming a necessity. “Many developers are launching such projects in view of the rising demand, but these constructions do not seem to take into account the very basic needs of this segment,” he said. “To avoid possible fraud and disappointment of retirees/ senior citizens, MahaRERA has issued draft model guidelines for this emerging segment. We will finalise the framework and implement it at the earliest.”