Govt to introduce ‘relaxed’ housing loans

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin says among the factors affecting the sale of houses were unfavourable locations, high cost and loan issues. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The government is expected to introduce a new housing loan scheme to help the Middle 40% (M40) and Bottom 40% (B40) income household groups to buy houses.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said a meeting was held last week between the ministry and several agencies, including Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), financial institutions, the Employees Provident Fund and the finance ministry on houses which were completed but remained unsold.

“Following the meeting, BNM is formulating a set of guidelines to introduce ‘relaxed’ loans for house buyers.

“Although still at a preliminary stage, the full scheme will be presented to the ministry in August before the new housing loan can be launched to benefit the M40 and B40 households,” she said today.

(Households in the M40 group earn up to RM6,275 while those in the B40 group earn not more than RM3,000.)

Zuraida was asked to comment on a report from the National Property Information Centre that RM22 billion worth of completed houses remained unsold across Malaysia in the first quarter of this year.

She said among the factors contributing to the unsold houses were unfavourable locations, high cost and loan issues.

Meanwhile, on the redevelopment of the Highland Towers site in Hulu Kelang, the minister said the Highland Towers Special Committee, chaired by the ministry’s secretary-general, Mohamad Mentek, had identified 138 Highland Towers condominium owners.

(One of the three towers collapsed in 1993 after 10 days of heavy rain, causing the deaths of 48 people. The remaining two towers were then abandoned.)

“In order to demolish the site for redevelopment, we need the agreement from all 138 owners,” Zuraida said.

The remaining 27 unidentified owners are urged to see the Insolvency Department or the ministry before July 16, 2018, which will be the date the special committee meets again.

She also said the developer had been identified as Regal Field Development.

“They feel happy that they can move forward to redevelop the area and the company has submitted several proposals.

“If any of these proposals are attractive, it can be a joint venture between the ministry and Regal Field,” Zuraida said.