Following complaints from senior citizens residing in Retirement Homes, the Centre has laid certain guidelines to ensure ease of living
The Centre has decided to treat Retirement homes as a separate real estate project. This move comes after receiving complaints from senior citizens residing in retirement homes. The complaints were inferior quality of services despite paying high maintenance charges. The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has come up with certain guidelines and declared that the retirement homes would be subject to RERA provisions.
Henceforth, it is mandatory to register retirement homes under RERA and the applicable state rules. This will ensure that the rights of senior citizens are protected. Also, it will boost investment in this category of real estate. The guidelines require the states and union territories to notify planning norms of retirement homes. The guidelines also specify a provision for additional FAR (Floor Area Ratio) as an incentive to encourage builders to invest in retirement homes and financial institutions to finance such projects.
Developers of retirement homes can manage these themselves or they can transfer the responsibility of the management of these homes to a retirement home operator or a service provider as stated in the guidelines. The service providers, however, need to be registered with concerned state authorities.
According to the statement, the model guidelines provide for disclosure of technical skills of the service provider at the time of executing the ‘Agreement to Sale’ in the form of a ‘Tripartite Agreement’ to be executed among the developer, service provider/retirement home operators and the allottee. Retirement homes should follow the principles, norms and guidelines prescribed in the ‘National Building Code’, ‘Model Building Bye Laws’ and ‘Harmonized Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for persons with disability and elderly persons.’
The size of the units should be 40 to 60 sq.m in plains for a 1 BHK and 50 to 80 sq. m for a 2 BHK. The plot size needs to be 3000 sq. m with a FAR of 2 and ground coverage of 35 percent. For hilly areas, the average size should be 30 to 45 sq.m for a 1 BHK and 40 to 60 sq. m for a 2 BHK. The plot size is 1500 sq. m with a FAR of 1.2 and ground coverage of 45 percent.
Retirement homes can be utilized on the basis of the three models. The first model is the ownership model where the allottee is the owner of the apartment in a retirement home. The second model is the reverse mortgage model where the property shall stand mortgaged to financial institutions that will pay a lump sum or monthly instalments to the allottees for a period of time as mutually agreed between the parties. The third model is the lease or rental model wherein the lessee or the tenant can reside in the apartment on lease or rent from the promoter for an agreed period.
The guidelines also state that buildings with more than one floor should have lifts to cater to the needs of the senior citizens. The staircase should not have more than 12 treads in a single flight and spiral stairs are not recommended. 24×7 on-site ambulance service, a mandatory tie-up with emergency facilities with the nearest hospitals and pharmacy, medical emergency room, regular medical check-up of residents, emergency alarm systems, trained and skilled security personnel, CCTV cameras in common areas are a must.
Such projects are strictly required to follow green building principles to avoid exposure of senior citizens to fumes arising from the combustion of fossil fuels.
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