KUCHING: The Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) will match the number of houses to be built by Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA) developers in the state provided equal treatment is granted by the state government.
Sheda president Joseph Wong said Sarawakian developers could build PR1MA approved houses with a capped selling price of RM300,000 per unit – RM100,000 less than that of PR1MA developers – if they were given the same planning criteria and exemption.
He said PR1MA recently launched 13 projects with a total of 16,787 houses in Sarawak with the price of each unit capped at RM400,000.
“We understand that PR1MA housing is subsidised by the Federal Government.
“The chief minister recently agreed with Sheda that equal treatment is to be given to private developers as those accorded to PR1MA-appointed developers. Sheda has written to the chief minister to seek his directive on how to move forward on this matter,” he said at the opening of the Sheda property expo here.
Wong said Sheda did not require Federal Government subsidies and only wanted the same planning criteria to be extended to local developers so that they could contribute to building more affordable houses for middle-income families in the state.
“I want to throw a challenge to the state government that should the equal treatment be accorded, Sheda members will match the number of PR1MA houses.
“We will create over 16,000 affordable houses on top of the 10,000 units we have committeed under the proposed Sheda affordable housing scheme, making it a total of more than 26,000 affordable houses with the selling price between RM250,000 to RM300,000 per unit throughout Sarawak over the next five years.
“That is equivalent to more than RM7bil in gross development value in the Sarawak property sector,” he said.
In an immediate response, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said he would bring up the proposal to the state government if Sheda agreed to provide green areas within the proposed affordable housing developments.
He said this was a requirement imposed on PR1MA developers to ensure the development of conducive neighbourhoods.
“If Sheda developers can provide a similar environment, definitely I will take up your challenge. You must also include in your proposal all the green spaces that are needed.
“I would like Sheda to present me with this undertaking, then we will work out what is the best to be done,” he said, adding that the government did not discriminate between developers.