Mumbai: With Senior Citizen Homes emerging as the new hot trend on the urban property landscape, Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has floated draft model guidelines to ensure residential projects for the retired are designed keeping in mind their basic requirements.
According to MahaRERA chairman, Ajoy Mehta, retired homes are becoming the new necessity of a changing society and many developers are launching such projects in response to a rising demand. “But these constructions do not seem to take into account the very basic needs of this segment. To avoid possible fraud and disappointment of retirees/ senior citizens, MahaRERA has issued Draft Model Guidelines for this emerging segment of housing projects”.
He added that MahaRERA is finalising the framework of the guidelines and would be implementing them at the earliest. The move comes in the wake of a feedback received by the authority that many developers were wrongly advertising their real estate projects as 'Retirement Homes' and thereby, misleading prospective homebuyers. “It has also been brought to our notice that several of these projects do not adhere to the bare minimum standards and specifications required for senior citizen residences”, he said.
Guidelines To Ensure Senior Citizens Get Required Facilities
MahaRERA aims to ensure that the senior citizens should have the required facilities after they move into such housing projects. The new guidelines will make MahaRERA the first housing regulatory body in India to promulgate provisions for housing projects for the retired. Once the guidelines are implemented, the developers will have to include some of the special provisions in the Agreement for Sale and other relevant documents. Henceforth, senior citizen housing projects will have to be built as per the model guidelines, the regulator said in a press statement.
The draft also lists the minimum physical criteria that every project must meet, including building’s construction norms as per the needs of senior citizens. The specifications include building design, green building principles, lifts and ramps, staircase, corridors, lighting and ventilation, safety and security.
Suggestions Sought On Draft Model Guidelines:
The draft on “Regulation of Retirement Homes” is available on MahaRERA’s website. Currently, MahaRERA is open to receiving suggestions and views on the guidelines, these can be mailed on firstname.lastname@example.org by February 29th. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) too had issued model guidelines and suggested that the respective state regulators should take appropriate steps to introduce the regulations. Accordingly, MahaRERA has formulated a draft regulation on retired homes.
Some of the important provisions in the model guidelines include points like a building of more than one floor should have an elevator, all lifts should have audio visual system, easy wheelchair access to enter and exit the lift, mandatory ramps for unhindered wheelchair access, width of stairs should not be less than 1500 mm, handrails should be fitted on both sides of the staircase, and the staircase should not have more than 12 steps.