Affordable housing firm Signature Global plans launch of 10,000 units by March 2021

Affordable housing firm Signature Global plans launch of 10,000 units by March 2021

Gurgaon-based firm Signature Global’s target to launch 30,000 affordable housing units this year is on track.

A Gurgaon-based real estate developer, Signature Global Group, which is into affordable housing projects Gurgaon, plans to launch 10,000 units before March 2021 as per the target it had set in pre-COVID times.

This month it launched over 800 units under the Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojana, a scheme by the Haryana government under which it intends developing two lakh affordable housing units by 2022. The company has invested Rs 400 crore on this project so far.

“We acquired the land over a year ago and financial institutions we had lined up before COVID-19 such as HDFC Capital, KKR etc have supported us for this project,” Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder and Chairman, Signature Global told Moneycontrol.

He claimed that affordable housing is one segment that has not been badly impacted by the pandemic.

“The affordable housing scheme has not been impacted by COVID-19 compared to other asset classes. We intend to launch 1,700 units under the scheme. As many as 832 units have been launched as part of the first phase. We are offering two sizes – 3bhk units spread across 1,081 sqft and 2 bhk spread across 951 sq ft on 100 aq mtr and 88 sq mtr plots respectively. The price for these units is around Rs 45 to 55 lakh,” he told Moneycontrol.

The company has launched around 19,200 units since last year and intends launching 10,000 more units before March 2021.

“Our target of launching 30,000 affordable housing units is on track. We have launched 19,200 units so far and intend launching 10,000 units by March 2021. As many as 5000 units are under the Haryana affordable housing policy and another 5000 are under the Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojana. We would be in a position to launch all 30,000 units by 2021,” he said.

The company hopes to achieve the target it had set before COVID-19. “In the coming years, affordable housing is here to stay. People have realised the importance of owning a house, albeit a small, affordable one, during the pandemic and that is a positive,” Aggarwal said.

As for the additional special liquidity facility announcement by the Reserve Bank of India last week under which Rs 5,000 crore would be lent to NHB, Aggarwal said that this amount is not enough.

“It should have been at least Rs 25,000 crore. An amount of Rs 5,000 crore is not enough,” he said.

Under this scheme, small non-bank finance companies and micro-lenders, which extend small-sized loans to the poor, and housing finance companies focused on affordable lending are going to get liquidity assistance via Nabard and the NHB, respectively. This is the second support offered to these institutions since the country went into a nationwide lockdown in March. While Nabard got a refinance support of Rs 35,000 crore in April, NHB got Rs 10,000 crore.

Last month, the government came out with guidelines on the affordable rental housing complex (ARHC) scheme that will comprise single bedrooms up to 30 square metres (sqm), double bedrooms up to 60 sqm and dormitory beds of up to 10 sqm carpet areas each.

To address the issue of affordable rental housing for urban migrants/poor through private/public bodies, the government has designed two models. The first model involves ARHCs on government-funded vacant houses and the second involves construction, operation and maintenance of units by public or private entities on their own available vacant land.

Aggarwal said, for this scheme to be successful, there has to be a commitment from an institutional partner like Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) as cheaper funding can only come from such agencies.

“Unless such institutions do not have a stake in such projects, the developers may not be willing to participate in this scheme. The second issue is to do with the time that states would take to design these policies, lest these remain mere guidelines.

“Also, state governments will have to decide on reasonable rents. No migrant labour will be able to pay up to Rs 6,000 per month as rent. Viability is still a concern,” he added.

As for retail plans post COVID-19, Aggarwal said that the company’s mall to come up in Vaishali area in Ghaziabad may be delivered by Diwali this year. The firm also plans to launch two more retail properties in the next six to eight months in Gurgaon.

Source: Money Control

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