GEORGE TOWN: There should be a national cap on what constitutes affordable housing prices such as low and low-medium-cost homes, said state Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.
He said the maximum prices of such homes should be standardised nationwide and states should not be allowed to set different ceiling prices.
“Some states have raised their ceiling prices for low and low-medium-cost homes to RM60,000 and RM100,000 respectively.
“But many states including Penang maintain these at RM42,000 and RM72,500,” he said.
Jagdeep declined to reveal which states had raised the prices but said this was brought up in previous National Affordable Housing Council meetings.
“Many other states are also against raising the prices but a few states have already implemented higher ceiling prices for low and low-medium-cost.
He was commenting on one of the recommendations of the Special Report on the National Housing Policy that called for “localised affordable housing measures to enhance the monitoring and evaluation framework of states and local authorities”.
“The first thing I want to ask is what measures do they want to allow to be localised? If they want to allow the ceiling prices to be different, then I disagree,” he said.
Using Kuala Lumpur as an example, Jagdeep said if affordable housing ceiling prices were allowed to be higher there than in Penang because of land prices, it would only make matters worse for people living in Kuala Lumpur.
“The living cost in KL is already up to 10 times more than in Penang for some expenses. Raising the ceiling prices of housing there will make living cost worse.
“The government must control the prices,” he said.
He stressed that Penang would never allow the ceiling prices to change.
For affordable housing, he said, Penang would keep the price at under RM300,000 on the island and under RM250,000 on the mainland.
“For low and low-medium-cost housing, we are sticking to RM42,000 and RM72,500 respectively.”