House buyers ‘left in lurch’ by govt-backed project

House-buyers of the Residensi Jaya scheme at today’s protest rally, calling for state government action.

SERI KEMBANGAN: More than 50 first-time house-buyers say they have been left in the lurch after buying flats in a project endorsed by the Selangor state government, which they said had been abandoned.

They said the Residensi Jaya project, part of the Rumah Selangorku scheme for affordable housing, has yet to get off the ground. It was scheduled for completion next year.

A representative of the group, Helmi Hamid, said the developer is believed to have gone bankrupt, and that their hopes of owning their first homes had been ruined.

“We ask the state government to help us settle this matter,” he said when met at the construction site here today.

With the buyers today was Wong Siew Ki, the Balakong assemblyman, in whose constituency the project is sited. She said that it was embarrassing that a project tied to the state government could not be completed as scheduled.

The Residensi Jaya project comprises of two tower blocks of 11 storeys, containing 394 flats and nine shops. The flats were sold for between RM210,000 and RM250,000

Wong said the state executive councillor for housing, Haniza Mohamed Talha, had already warned the developer. “But until today, there has been no progress with the project,” she said. “The developer should explain themselves, not just postpone the project without caring about the buyers.”

Helmi said the developer had promised that construction would start if half the units were bought up, but construction had yet to begin as of late 2018. “The owners just see bushes whenever they pass by the project site,” he said.

He urged the state government to provide buyers with other homes which have been built or are almost complete.

He said the developer was declared bankrupt in October and the Selangor housing board, Lembaga Perumahan Hartanah Selangor, has washed its hands of the matter.

“LPHS said they only choose buyers and issue letters to successful buyers, and they cannot give us any guarantees,” said Helmi.

He said checks made by the buyers showed that LPHS were still offering Residensi Jaya flats for sale in December, even though the developers had been declared bankrupt.

Helmi said that 221 buyers had each paid a 10% deposit on the flats, but were in the dark about what had happened to the money.

“A 10% deposit on a RM250,000 house is RM25,000. We want to know where did the money go,” said Helmi.“Did the developer take the money or is it with other parties? Please give it back to us.”

He said the LPHS had met buyers in October and last week, but said they were only in charge of implementing policies. The buyers have also held discussions with executive councillor Haniza and several orders had been issued by the executive council, to no avail.

Another buyer, Siti Normadiana Ahmad, 38, said she had bought a flat with confidence because the project was supported by the state government.

“I am a first-time buyer and we got the offer (to buy units) from LPHS, not from any private developer. I did not dare to buy houses elsewhere because my friend was cheated by a private developer, which is why I bought into this Rumah Selangorku scheme.

“We placed our trust in the Selangor government, but this is what we get in return,” she said.

Normadiana said she hoped Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin would look into the matter.