Mahindras to foray into affordable housing

After Tata Housing made a big splash entry into the affordable housing segment about two years ago, it is the turn of another leading industrial group, the Mahindras, to make a foray into the sector.

''We are seriously considering launching affordable homes,'' Arun Nanda, chairman, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, said at a conference organised by the Global Initiative for Restructuring Environment and Management (Girem) in Goa on Monday. The company is conducting a survey on affordable homes at present.

According to Nanda, the company will aim to build houses up to Rs10 lakh in metros and in the Rs5 lakh to Rs7 lakh range in tier II and tier III cities. The units will range between 400 and 450 sq ft, and the cost of construction would be in the range of Rs700 to Rs800 a sq ft.

He urged the government to create the necessary infrastructure and to help developers acquire land at low prices to ensure affordable housing.

Mahindra Lifespace, the realty unit of the automotive major Mahindra & Mahindra, is promoting high- to mid-end projects in Mumbai, Delhi and the National Capital Region, Chennai and Pune.

The company is looking for appropriate technology to sustain large volumes in the affordable housing category. Nanda had earlier said that affordable housing requires scale and for that there was need for appropriate technology to build such homes under a tight budget. With land and material prices soaring, innovative construction technology and the use of low-cost materials can ensure budget homes, he said.