JOHOR government is reviewing its housing policies in looking for ways to increase the number of affordable homes in the state.
State housing and local government committee chairman Ayub Jamil said based on records, there were about 150,000 unbuilt low-cost or affordable homes in Johor from 1980 to 2020.
“The affordable houses, previously agreed upon by property developers, were not built due to a few factors such as the high cost of construction materials and land value, especially in Johor Baru.
“We will work with Rehda (Real Estate and Housing Developers Association) and examine the present policies to look for win-win solutions that will benefit the people and at the same time, not pose a heavy burden on developers.
“If possible, we want to have more houses that are RM300,000 and below to cater to the M40 and B40 groups as there is a high demand from these groups to own homes.
“We want to have policies that not only look good on paper but that also benefit the rakyat, ” he told a press conference after the RM80,000 Johor Affordable Houses open draw ceremony for units in Taman Kemas Utama.
He said the move was in line with the state’s “one family one home” vision for the people to have a home of their own.
Ayub said the state would also find ways to make the process of purchasing affordable homes easier, including loosening conditions to give co-proprietors of small plots of land a chance to own a home.
The high demand for affordable houses was evident as a total of 6,913 applications were received for the 146 units of three-bedroom houses in Taman Kempas Utama, he added.
On a separate matter, Ayub said the state was planning to turn Johor Baru, Batu Pahat and Muar into heritage cities as part of its Heritage Cities Development Plan that was announced under Johor Budget 2021.
He said the initial stage of the plan would involve Johor Baru City Council (MBJB), Batu Pahat Municipal Council and Muar Municipal Council.
The councils will have to refer to local history, collect data and conduct studies in order to plan and come up with beneficial projects and programmes for the local community.
“MBJB started its efforts with Think City a few years ago to preserve heritage buildings in the city centre, and soon Batu Pahat and Muar will follow suit.
“This plan not only involves building roads and other construction.“We want to preserve the heritage that we have, from the buildings to the identity of the local community, ” said Ayub.
He added that he would work with his tourism counterpart to promote the areas as tourist attractions.