Govt to set up three categories of affordable houses

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will incorporate three categories of affordable housing that will be constructed under the National Housing Policy, latest, by next month, says Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

She said houses fetching RM150,000 and below, RM150,000-RM300,000 and RM300,000-RM500,000 would make up the new categories.

Zuraida also said all housing projects under the five housing entities comprising Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia (PR1MA), 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPA1M), UDA Holdings Bhd, Syarikat Perumahan Negara (SPNB) and the Hardcore Poor Housing Programme (PPRT) would be streamlined under one programme.

“This means that the housing entities will use the same design, same pricing and the same management,” she told reporters after launching the Malaysia Property Expo (Mapex 2018) yesterday.

Zuraida said various efforts were being taken to narrow the pricing gap between affordable houses and luxury houses through ongoing discussions with Bank Negara Malaysia.

“We are also looking at various options for social housing requirements in town areas, particularly the rent-to-own (RTO) scheme where those renting will be given time to plan and buy their house after five years (of renting),” she said, adding that the built-and-sell scheme would not be part of the ministry’s agenda for the time being.

Zuraida also expressed optimism on the property industry’s outlook given the various policies and ongoing efforts aimed at enabling people to own a house.

In the other hand, Real Estate Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) immediate past president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar Mohamed Mansor hoped the government would not introduce new taxes, developmental and compliance costs on the housing industry as it was already reeling from very tight margins.

“It is a volume game, not a margin game to us. Our (developer’s) margins are thinner, at about 12%-16% now compared with 35%-40% some 30 years ago. — Bernama