1 mil affordable houses in 10 years achievable, says Zuraida

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin says private developers are willing to build more units priced at less than RM300,000.

PUTRAJAYA: The government is on track to achieve one million affordable houses for the B40 group within 10 years as outlined in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said private developers have expressed willingness to build more houses priced at less than RM300,000.

To date, she said, a total of 39,864 units of affordable houses have been completed nationwide and 181,211 more units are under construction. Another 386,340 units are on the drawing board.

The ministry’s target is 100,000 units a year, Zuraida told Bernama.

She said other categories of houses are also being developed, including 3,898 units under the people’s housing project (PPR), 4,448 units for youth transit homes and 4,245 units under the civil servant housing scheme (PPAM), all of which are due for completion this year.

In addition, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) has provided houses to 4,989 families nationwide, of which 3,019 units are Rumah Mesra Rakyat and another 1,970 under the SPNB affordable housing scheme.

Zuraida said private developers understood the market’s needs for houses priced under RM300,000, and would respond to the government’s call to reduce the construction of luxury homes.

“They understand that many luxury houses are unsold or are still in the selling process, so it would not be appropriate to keep on building them,” she said.

She said the issue of unsold luxury homes arose because of the mismatch between demand and supply following the lack of proper data for planning activities.

To address the issue, her ministry is developing a data system that will provide information based on projected housing demand according to location and price, she said.

The system is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

Zuraida said the National Affordable Housing Policy is highlighting comfort in the home by setting a minimum size of 900 sq ft as well as amenities such as recreational facilities and halls.

“Houses stipulated under the policy are being tendered, so from this year, they will follow the new specification,” she said.

She said the government is also working to increase home ownership through various programmes, including the rent to own (RTO) scheme to assist potential buyers of PPR units who are not eligible for loans by financial institutions.

“If they are able to pay the monthly rent consistently, it can be used as a supporting document to apply for a loan when they are ready,” she said.

There are currently seven RTO projects, with two each in Selangor and Kelantan, and one each in Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan and Penang.