Stepping up to care for homes

Jagdeep (second right) awarding the cleaning contract to Mohd Sanusi. With them are (from right) Rozali, Chong Eng and Ong. — Photo: MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star

RESIDENTS of the Taman Desa Wawasan public housing project in Bukit Mertajam have formed their own community association to look after the property’s cleanliness.

Penang housing, town, country planning and local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the move allowed public housing residents to care for their environment themselves.

“The one-year contract with the association known as Desa Wawasan Apartments Community Association is worth RM210,692.

“I hope the appointment will instill a sense of responsibility into the residents in upkeeping the cleanliness of their homes, ” said Jagdeep.

Jagdeep added that since 2017, the state under the Gender Responsive and Participatory Budgeting (GRPB) portfolio had roped in residents of all backgrounds in housing schemes to voice their needs.

“After suggestions were made by Taman Desa residents to Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC), we initiated several upgrades and repainting of the apartments worth almost RM2.3mil.

“Among the works were upgrading of the landscapes and playground (RM220,000), pedestrian walkway (RM150,000), office (RM110,000), surau (RM86,000), staircase railing (RM33,000), road resurfacing (RM26,000), concrete wall (RM26,000) and entrance barrier (RM15,000) plus installation of CCTVs (RM5,000).

“The repainting of both blocks which cost RM1.6mil is 95% complete, ” said Jagdeep.

However, Jagdeep noted the outstanding rental payments which amounted to RM1.7mil in 2017 increased to RM1.89mil this year.

“There are 912 units here in the 21-storey blocks, each to pay RM100 monthly rental.

“So far about 60% of the units are occupied.

“I hope the beautification and upgrading of the building will change the mindset of the residents in uplifting their standard of living.

“Many dwellers here are low-income earners and facing difficulty in paying rent, ” he said before handing the appointment letter to Desa Wawasan Apartments Community Association chairman Mohd Sanusi Ahmad.

Present to witness the handover were Penang women, family development and gender inclusiveness committee chairman Chong Eng, Seberang Prai City Council mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud and PWDC chief executive officer Ong Bee Leng.

Rozali said Desa Wawasan Community Association was formed following success stories of GRPB being introduced in Taman Ampangan and Pulau Aman.

“We contracted the cleaning works to Taman Ampangan Residents Association in 2016 and paid about RM6,000 monthly, ” he said.

“Their workers comprised residents and we included security services starting in 2018.

“In Pulau Aman under the Kelab Wanita Aktif & Cergas, we pay the club RM11,500 monthly to upkeep cleanliness of the island.”

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