By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) Corp plans to include township developments as part of the PR1MA housing projects.
PR1MA Corp CEO Datuk Abdul Mutalib Alias said the programme, which targets the 40% middle-income group (M40), is aimed to instil a more community-based element in its future projects.
“We are in the middle of finalising several township developments and dedicating a specific team to work on these PR1MA township projects
“At present, there are up to two projects that are still in the process of getting the relevant approval from the state government,” he said at the launch of PR1MA-Malaysia Institute of Planners (MIP) Township Ideas Competition 2017/18 in Selangor yesterday.
However, Abdul Mutalib declined to reveal further details on the developments, adding that there are still a few details that need to be fine-tuned.
The decision to include township developments in the PR1MA programme, Abdul Mutalib said, is based on the response from its target customers who consider certain aspects when purchasing a property.
“We have approached several professional consultants to conduct a consumer survey to have a better understanding of the current demand of our target audience.
“We found that the M40 includes holistic and well-planned aspects as one of the aspects when buying a house. Compared to the lower-income group, whose ultimate goal is to merely own a house,” he said.
Abdul Mutalib said PR1MA Corp is working hard to address problems faced by the middle-income group to ensure they are not excluded from the government’s housing programme.
“Many of the programme are targeting the B40 (bottom 40%) group who has an income from RM3,900 and below and some of the programmes are set at RM2,500.
“Due to that, the M40 group is not visible to many government pro- grammes as the group’s income is set at a range between RM3,900 and RM8,300. But based on findings, this group still requires help in purchasing a property,” he said.
On achieving the target to provide 500,000 units of affordable homes, Abdul Mutalib admitted it is a tall order, but he remained confident on meeting the target, albeit at a slower pace.
“At the beginning stage of PR1MA, one of initial setbacks was the acquiring of landbank from the federal government.
“Due to that, we have to change our development module by adopting business partners to secure the number of houses completed as we have our own internal targets.
“In the property sector, acquiring land plays a major role and for us, it is a bit of hassle as it is not an easy task to get the state governments’ approval,” he said.
So far, PR1MA Corp has approved the development of 267,902 units of houses in the country with 9,791 units sold. In August, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak said PR1MA Corp is scheduled to build 17,000 and 35,000 residential units in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
On supporting the upcoming PR1MA township developments, PR1MA Corp is collaborating with MIP to organise a competition to deliberate on township ideas.
“We are calling out local professional planners and undergraduate students in related field to provide fresh ideas and insights to create townships that suit the need and life- style of young communities.”