Joining hands to solve housing issues

Ongoing construction works at the Ideal Residency site.

THE National Housing Corporation (NHC) has been given two years to carry out a targeted and systematic strategy for affordable and public housing schemes in the country.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the ministry had given RM3mil to the NHC to conduct the study.

He said the NHC, formed by 15 government agencies, was approved by the Cabinet on Aug 19 this year.

“The purpose of setting up the NHC is to consolidate all agencies under one umbrella, just like the Penang Housing Board.

“Through the NHC, we can develop plans to solve issues like housing and geographical distribution mismatch.

“A more thorough study of legislation and regulatory framework will be carried out,” he said.

Reezal was speaking after attending a handover of offer letters for affordable homes at Ideal Residency in Bukit Gelugor, Penang, on Saturday.

An artist’s impression of Ideal Residency in Bukit Gelugor.An artist’s impression of Ideal Residency in Bukit Gelugor.

Reezal said he had also proposed several initiatives to the Finance Ministry to solve problems faced by home buyers including difficulties coming up with a deposit.

He highlighted that many who received offer letters for affordable housing had their loan applications rejected by banks.

“I hope that these barriers can be addressed so that more people can get their housing loans approved.

“Just like in the MyDeposit scheme and the MyHome programme under the 11th Malaysia Plan, developers of these affordable homes are paid 10%. It’s like a subsidy to the buyers.

“If the 10% is financed by the Government, this means that the house owner is getting 100% financing as many margins of financing at banks is 90%.

“This will enable more people to own affordable homes and also encourage developers to build more affordable housing schemes as they have the facilitation funds or subsidy.

“I hope the Finance Ministry can roll out MyHome 2.0 in Budget 2022,” he said.

Reezal said he had also held discussions with the Finance Ministry on the developer interest bearing scheme, especially for houses costing RM300,000 and below.

He said land was a fixed cost, making it hard to reduce the price unless through intervention programmes by the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, state housing committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the Penang government and Bank Negara had been organising workshops to aid home buyers.

“Cooperation between the state and Federal Government is important to address the high rate of bank loan rejections,” he said.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said all agencies in the country should come together for housing developments.

“The stakeholders have to be engaged and their opinions should be taken into consideration before a new law can be implemented,” he said.

Also present at the offer letter handover ceremony were Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh, PR1MA Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Nazri Md Shariff, Penang deputy state secretary Datuk Azhar Arshad and Ideal Property Group chief operating officer Datuk Goh Teng Whoo.

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