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Gerakan slams over-priced ‘affordable’ homes in Penang

 | March 14, 2016

Many youngsters cannot afford to buy the state government's 'affordable' houses priced at RM400,000, says Jason Loo.

Jason-Loo-Jieh-ShengPETALING JAYA: Penang Gerakan has asked the state government to explain how Penangites, especially those aspiring to own their first home, can afford “unaffordable” houses priced at RM400,000.

Penang Gerakan Youth Legal and Public Complaints Bureau Chief Jason Loo Jieh Sheng claimed that Penangites were not getting value for money when buying “affordable” homes as they had to fork out RM400,000 merely to own a two-bedroom house of 650 square feet.

He pointed out that during the time of former Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon, two-room low-cost housing was priced at RM42,000 and three-room low-medium-cost housing at RM72,500.

But today, under the DAP, prices had increased by 10 times for low-cost houses and seven times for low-medium-cost houses.

For one to buy a RM400,000 “affordable” home, he said one would need to fork out RM2,052 per month on loan instalments.

Citing a study that showed 49 per cent of Penangites had household incomes of below RM4,900, he asked, “Can they afford these super expensive affordable homes?

“These affordable homes are investment tools for rich investors, but not for innocent young Penangites who need their first house. This is a worrying problem for Penang youngsters,” said Loo in a statement.

Jagdeep Singh Deo, state executive councillor in charge of housing and, town and country planning had previously claimed Penangites preferred to stay in affordable homes rather than low-cost houses or low-medium-cost houses.

However Loo said that affordable homes did not mean two-room houses at RM400,000, which was roughly six times costlier than three-room low-medium-cost houses.

Loo blamed the current state government for causing land price hikes in the past eight years and allowing developers to build only expensive “affordable” homes.

He also chided the state government for not being able to compel developers to build low-cost houses and low-medium-cost houses.

Moreover, he alleged the state government had allowed foreigners or foreign consortiums to bulk-purchase properties in the state and remarked, “This is good for the investors and the developers, but what about the poor people, especially youngsters who desire to own their first homes?”


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