SPNB will no longer revive abandoned housing projects

KUALA LUMPUR: Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB), an agency set up to revive abandoned housing projects, will no longer rehabilitate such projects due to a policy change.

Under the latest policy, abandoned projects would be fully managed by the Housing and Local Government Ministry through the Commissioner of Buildings, Managing Director Datuk Dr Kamarul Rashdan Salleh said.

"I understand that the ministry will work with private developers to revive abandoned houses," he told BERNAMA in an exclusive interview.

Kamarul, however, expressed his concern over the escalating costs to restore private developers' housing projects comprising low or medium-low-cost houses because of the requirement to maintain the original house price.

For medium-cost houses, there would be no issue to attract private developers as the price can be set to a competitive level, thus substantial profit can be made, he said.

"Efforts to revive low-cost and medium-low-cost houses do not guarantee lucrative profits. Furthermore, developers will have to put up with spiralling costs.

"If the developers are willing to the risks, I welcome their initiative to do so, but if it is too risky for some developers, then the government has to come up with a workable mechanism to develop abandoned housing projects," he said.

For now, however, Kamarul said the SPNB would start reviving Taman Tangkak Emas and Taman Jasa Amir abandoned projects in Johor next month. The projects have been lying idle since 2005.

Kamarul said while abandoned housing projects exist everywhere in the country, they are significantly prevalent in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Johor, where development is taking place at a feverish pace.

Last year, SPNB revived a total of 1,004 units of abandoned houses at Taman Bukit Riah in Pengkalan Hulu, Taman Jalan Intan Pertama in Gerik, Taman Desa Bakti in Machang, Taman Desa Guru in Kuching, Taman Desarina in Kuala Lumpur and Taman Mawar in Kulai.

The SPNB was established on Aug 21, 1997 to provide quality affordable houses for every family in the country. - BERNAMA

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