Sunday September 23, 2012
Finally, affordable homes for middle-income earners
By WONG SAI WAN and TERENCE TOH
PETALING JAYA: Affordable housing will be available to all middle-income earners, even those who have a total household income of RM7,500 per month under the 1Malaysia People Housing programme (PR1MA).
The houses will be sold without any ethnic quota but will be available at special discounted rates through a transparent balloting method.
“Even those who are not married would be entitled to apply,” said PR1MA chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Mutalib Alias yesterday. “The houses will range from studio apartments to landed properties depending on location.”
Stressing that these units were not low-cost houses, Abdul Mutalib said PR1MA is about solving housing needs as well as addressing lifestyle wants of the middle-income group.
“Originally, when PR1MA was announced, the scheme was only open to a narrow joint-salary band of RM3,000 to RM6,000. There is a problem of a sandwich group'.
“We have been able to persuade Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to widen the band to cover more distressed middle-class who are not poor but still cannot afford to buy houses in major cities, especially in the Klang Valley,” he added.
He said PR1MA had studied 20 schemes including the HDB in Singapore before coming up with the programme.
There will be a moratorium of 10 years before the buyers can sell their homes.
“There are circumstances where we might allow an earlier sale and we have a formula about the pricing that will take into account interest and inflation rates,” Abdul Mutalib said, adding that more details would be announced next week.
He also said that Najib would launch PR1MA's 1st housing scheme in Seremban on Saturday.
“The prices will be below market price, and will be the same for everyone, without quotas or discounts of any kind,” Abdul Mutalib said. “There will be a mix of landed and medium-rise properties.”
Abdul Mutalib said the project would be a three-phase programme, with the first comprising about 1,200 houses due in 2015.
He added that PR1MA had decided to carry out the project in Seremban because there was demand for it.
This will be PR1MA's first project since the gazetting of the PR1MA Act in January.
Other PR1MA targets include:
> An online registration system for housebuyers and to assess the demand in town areas; and
> Talks with developers to have the backlanes of houses converted into green community areas.