Johor to implement new affordable housing policy

JOHOR BARU: A new affordable housing policy will be implemented in Johor to ensure developers meet their obligations to build these homes, says Housing and Rural Development Committee chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad.

“The state will implement the ‘Johor Housing Policy Transforma­tion’ from Monday to ensure affor­dable homes are built concurrently (with regular homes),” he said.

He pointed out that under the previous policy, developers were allowed to build the 60% non-affordable homes first and the remaining 40% affordable homes in the last phase of development.

“However, loopholes in the law allowed them to change develop­ment orders and sometimes these affordable homes are never built.

“For example, in their application, they stated they were going to build 500 affordable homes, but after some years they made changes to only build 300 homes and were willing to pay fines of between RM40,000 and RM60,000 for each unit (of affordable home not built).

“These are some of the things that we need to change and make sure that developers stick to their development plans,” he said at the Johor Housing Policy Transformation Seminar here yesterday.

Dzulkefly also said the state government would not be able to meet its target to build 100,000 affordable homes or Rumah Mampu Biaya (RMB) by 2023 due to the loopholes in the previous housing policy.“We estimate, we can only build 25% or 25,000 of the overall target of 100,000 homes by 2023,” he said.He added that the new policy would ensure only housing projects with demand were built by developers.

These include a new housing package for the middle income group (M40) with household income of RM8,000 and RM10,000, dubbed RMB (D), priced at between RM250,000 and RM300,000.

“This is our new product to help the M40 community because they cannot buy houses in the RMB (C), RMB (B), and RMB (A) that are built specifically for the lower income group.

“However, it would only be introduced in Zone A (Johor Baru and Kulai) for RMB D RM300,000 and Zone B, (Batu Pahat, Muar, Segamat, Kluang and PBT Pengerang) for RMB (D) RM250,000),” he said.