KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has introduced a new scheme for public housing tenants to pay up arrears owed.
Those with at least six months’ arrears will be hired as cleaners and their salaries would be used to pay for the backdated rent under the “Rent Arrears Payment Services Scheme (Skim Khidmat Menjelaskan Tunggakan Sewa).
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad launched the scheme, which is aimed at addressing rent collection issues at People’s Housing Projects (PPR) and Public Housing (PA) while boosting DBKL’s revenue.
“Under the scheme, DBKL will appoint PPR and PA residents with rent arrears as cleaners. “The salaries that they receive from their jobs will be used to settle their rent arrears,” he said.
“The scheme is open only to those who fulfil certain criteria, such as pensioners or able-bodied adults who are unable to find jobs.”
A total of 281 residents have subscribed to the scheme since it was introduced in December last year.
An additional 107 residents have been identified as potential subscribers.
They will earn between RM800 and RM1,300 per month as part-time or full-time cleaners.
Rent for one PPR unit ranges between RM95 and RM135 per month. The scheme will deduct payment for two months - one current and one backdated.
“This scheme is one way for DBKL to collect rent arrears, as it would otherwise have to take enforcement action against tenants who infringe on their tenancy agreement,” said Khalid.
“These PPR and PA homes were meant to be temporary places to assist the poor with housing while they gained financial independence and found their own permanent housing.
“But some units are now home to multiple generations, which is unfair to other poor folk who need PPR and PA housing.”
According to DBKL, there are 25,872 PPR and PA units all over Kuala Lumpur that owe RM25.76mil in rent arrears, as of Jan 31, 2019.
Meanwhile, some 25,000 applicants remain on the waiting list for PPR and PA units.
Khalid also launched the My Clean Housing Programme (Program Perumahan Ku Bersih) at the same event held at PPR Beringin in Jinjang Utara, Kepong.
“The campaign duration is one to three months, and aims to improve the cleanliness and landscape of PPR and PA housing projects,” he said.
“We want to create a responsible community that cares for the place they stay in and eventually expand the programme to other housing areas.”
In addition, Khalid mooted an “adoption programme” to get corporations and developers to adopt PPR and PA housing projects near their developments.
“These companies can contribute and assist the PPR housing, such as upgrading facilities, planting trees, building mini libraries or other improvement projects.
“If the PPR is identified for redevelopment, the developer that adopted that area gets the first right of refusal for the project,” he said, adding that a meeting would be held to brief corporations and developers on the programme soon.
Present at the event were Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan, Alam Flora chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zain Hassan, DBKL executive director (socio-economic department) Datuk Ibrahim Yusoff and Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) Federal Territories director Mohd Zahir Shari.