MahaRERA rolls out Minimum physical specifications for Housing Projects for Retirement Homes and Senior Citizen Housing Projects

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Mumbai, 16th May 2024: Detailed regulations for retired and senior citizens housing has been announced by the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), through a circular. The guidelines have been compiled keeping in mind the primary requirements for such housing projects such as building design, kitchens, bathrooms, green building principles, lifts and ramps, staircase, corridors, lighting and ventilation and safety and security.

Compliance of these Minimum physical specifications is mandatory while executing these projects. With the implementation of the regulation across Maharashtra, developers will now have to include the provisions in the agreement for sale as well.

In early February, MahaRERA had issued a circular on draft model guidelines for retirement and senior citizen housing projects and had invited suggestions and views from various stakeholders. MahaRERA received a favourable response and several useful suggestions were made including from the senior citizens and their organisations. While finalising the Minimum physical specifications , these have been incorporated as well.

The draft was prepared based on the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs issued model guidelines on the subject.

MahaRERA’s objective is to ensure standardised code and facilities to all the senior citizens living in these housing projects.

Some of the important provisions include:

– All buildings of more than a floor should have an elevator with the design accessible for wheelchairs and mobility equipment
– The internal and external building design should be such to have free movement of wheelchairs, including ramps
– Doors openings should not be less than 900 mm and preferably have sliding doors
– Easy to grip door levers and knobs of large size with smooth edges should be used
– Ergonomically designed furniture should be lightweight, sturdy and without any sharp edges
– All lifts should have an audio visual signage and systems
– At least one elevator should be big enough to accommodate stretcher and paramedic staff
– Staircase width should not be less than 1500 mm. Also, handrails should be fitted on both sides of the staircase. There should not be an open as well as spiral staircase.
– The gap between two flights of steps should not be more than 12 treads
– No steps should be there in the corridors. In case of change in level, a ramp should be provided
– Where there is difference in the floor level, the steps should have distinguishable contrasting strips on the edges for easy identification
– The handrails should be at a suitable height
– Kitchen should mandatorily have gas leak detection system
– The kitchen should have natural light and ventilation in place
– Wash basins, shower area and toilets should have grab rails for support
– Toilet paper roll dispensers should be sturdy to be able to withstand heavy loads
– Anti-skid tiles for toilets and bathrooms are a must
– Bathroom door should open outwards to enable access in case of an emergency when a senior citizen is inside it
– Power back is necessary for every retirement home with mandatory connection in bathroom and kitchen
– An arm system is a must with separate switches in the main entry doors, toilet, bedroom and common areas
– Emergency alarm and light controls should be provided at bedside and bathrooms near toilet seat and shower area
– Security guards should be trained to take proper care of senior citizens
– All emergency contact numbers should be provided to all residents and also displayed in all common areas such as elevators and other public places of the building

Many crucial considerations like these have been suggested here. These guidelines have been implemented in the state. Henceforth, any project proposal claiming to undertake service retirement and senior citizen housing projects must comply with these guidelines while implementing the project

Many crucial provisions that are essential for senior citizens have been suggested. These regulations have been implemented in Maharashtra with immediate effect. Henceforth, any project proposal claiming to be a retirement or senior citizen home must comply with these Minimum physical specifications.