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Affordable Housing

Push for more affordable housing

 

State governments have until the end of October to inform the federal government of vacant land suitable for affordable housing developments.

“This is about national interest. To put it simply, if states don’t give land, we won’t be able to build affordable houses for them,” Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said.

“I have received good response from the states. They are coming up with a list of land available, so that they don’t miss out having affordable housing built by the government in their states,” he said when asked if state governments were cooperating in giving away their land.

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Out of the 127 ongoing government affordable housing projects, Zuraida noted that only 27 were being built on land supplied by states.

“The rest are private land, which in a way causes the houses to be expensive.

“That is why a policy is in place where the state governments have to give land to the federal government to build affordable housing.

“If we can lower the land cost, we will be able to reduce the price of the houses to benefit the people,” she added.

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Under the new housing policy that will be unveiled later, Zuraida said the government would subsidise the development of affordable housing units and rent them out to deserving citizens.

“This will help strengthen the rental market in the city. Under this Rent to Own scheme, there will be a review of income every five years,” she said after attending an industry-government open dialogue by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute here yesterday.

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On a separate matter, Zuraida said five housing agencies would be consolidated to form a single entity known as the National Affordable Housing Council, which will coordinate the development of such homes nationwide.

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“The council will be directly under the Housing (and Local Government) Ministry and chaired by our prime minister,” she added.

The five agencies are Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme, Uda Holdings Bhd, People’s Housing Projects and 1Malaysia People’s Housing Scheme.

Allison Lai

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