JOHOR BARU: Urban folk in Johor Baru district are hoping the Federal and Johor governments will come out with more proactive measures to help them own houses.
Cashier Nur Diyana Md Sutiro, 33, said most average wage earners would otherwise find it impossible to own a house here as the prices of residential properties were beyond their reach.
“I submitted my application for Johor Affordable Homes (RMMJ) scheme in 2019 but have not received any updates about it, ’’ she said.
Nur Diyana said she was lucky that she and her family could live in her father’s house in Nusa Perintis, or else she would have to look for a house to rent.
“However, this is my father’s and we want to have a house of our own, ’’ she said.
Security guard A. Ganesan said not only were prices of houses in Johor Baru beyond the reach of most low-income earners, but the rental too.
The father of four aged between 10 and 18, said the family had been renting a two-room flat in Taman Perling for RM600 monthly for the past four years.
“Given a choice, I would like to own a house but I might have to wait for years before our eldest child starts working to help me buy a house, ’’ said Ganesan, 51.
Chow Pei Yun, 20, who is studying for a degree in physiotherapy in Kuala Lumpur, said she had no plans to come back and work in Johor Baru upon graduation.
“Unlike Klang Valley, Johor Baru does not have an integrated public transportation system, ” she said.
Chow said she planned to buy a house first instead of a car once she started earning, as she could depend on public transport in Kuala Lumpur to get around.
KGV International Property Consultants (M) Sdn Bhd director Samuel Tan said the World Habitat Day 2020 theme, “Housing for All: A Better Urban Future”, reflected the challenges faced by governments the world over.
World Habitat Day was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly, and was first celebrated in 1986.
It takes place on the first Monday of October.
He said as society progressed, affordable housing became a major societal issue, especially with the increasing migration of people from rural to urban areas for job opportunities.
“Government and government-linked companies are the best to take the lead in providing affordable housing, as costs can be reduced, ” said Tan.
He said this model could be seen in Singapore where its housing development board was the principal player for affordable housing there.
He emphasised that the consolidation of various agencies handling affordable housing was also important to avoid duplication and lack of focus as well as for cost management.
“Johor can consider setting up a fund to assist specific groups such as first-time housebuyers from B40 and lower M40 groups as well as civil servants to purchase affordable houses, ’’ he suggested.
Tan said assistance could come in the form of bridging funds for the initial 10% deposit or it could even be a monthly loan subsidy of a specific sum depending on the buyers’ eligibility.
Johor housing and local government committee chairman Ayub Jamil said the state government was in the midst of making a decision on a rent-to-own scheme that would make the process of buying properties in Johor much easier.
He said the scheme involved properties with a selling price of between RM300,000 and RM1.25mil.