KUALA LANGAT: The Housing and Local Government Ministry, under the National Housing Policy, aims to build up to 100,000 affordable homes capped at RM300,000 by the end of the year, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
According to the Prime Minister, it was one of the government's top priorities to ensure an efficient supply of affordable homes to take care of the people's well-being and upward social mobility.
He said the government wanted to help the lower income group by providing them comfortable living space in a suitable location, so that they could pursue employment and economic opportunities, he said in his speech at the launch of Gamuda Bhd's digital industrialised building system (IBS) on Thursday (May 2).
"In effect, this will elevate their socio-economic status and, in turn, will contribute to a healthy economic growth for the nation," he added.
According to Dr Mahathir, the 100,000 affordable homes targeted this year was in line with the Pakatan Harapan government’s manifesto of constructing one million affordable homes within the next decade.
"The lower-income or bottom 40% (B40) income group and middle-income M40 group are the main focus of the National Housing Policy over the next five years," he said.
He added that developers would be guided to build quality affordable homes for the B40 group.
"The specifications include built-ups of not less than 900 sq ft with the necessary types of amenities, facilities, and infrastructure being developed," he said.
Dr Mahathir said the use of digital Industrialised Building System (IBS), which comprise Building Information Modelling (BIM), an online design tool, coupled with IBS in public housing projects, would help the government meet its target of one million affordable homes over a period of 10 years.
"I was informed that Digital IBS provides an opportunity to upscale our local workforce for the future.
"Moving towards digital IBS technology will enable developers to build cheaper homes in a shorter period of time," he said.
Dr Mahathir added IBS was also less labour-intensive and would reduce the country’s dependency on foreign workers and yearly outflow of capital.
He said embracing digital IBS technology was timely, as it was evolving along with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), which included the current trend of automation and manufacturing technologies like cloud computing and building information modelling (BIM).
"For that, Gamuda Bhd should be commended for investing more than RM500mil in two state-of-the-art factories, the latest one of which we are in today," said Dr Mahathir.
Gamuda's IBS 27-ha plant integrates online design tools and BIM platform with state-of-the-art robotic machines for construction. Gamuda has a similar factory, launched in 2016 in Sepang.