Affordable housing policy soon, says Zuraida

By P PREM KUMAR / Pic bY MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

The federal government’s new affordable housing policy will suit the current scenario and will not be similar to the approaches taken by the previous administration.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture) said the affordable housing policy will be “different from old concepts” and will be unveiled soon.

“The policy is currently awaiting Cabinet’s approval, which I am confident that it would get through,” she told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

Among the snippets available on the policy include the formation of a National Affordable Housing Council which will house all federal agencies involved in creating affordable homes — namely 1Malaysia People’s Housing Project and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd.

The policy is also expected to enforce a no-sale clause on affordable homes built in the cities. The subsidised development in main cities are expected to be launched on rental-only basis.

Zuraida also welcomed suggestions from Emkay Group executive chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar to sell affordable houses in Kuala Lumpur through a cross-subsidy method.

While claiming the proposal was from a “perspective of the private sector”, the minister suggested developers such as Emkay should wait for the full affordable housing policy from the government.

She said the full policy could help alleviate concerns from private developers and public.

“I take it as a private sector’s perspective. But maybe Mustapha needs to listen in full the affordable housing policy that we will launch.”

Last week, Mustapha suggested a cross-subsidisation method that will make affordable houses priced as low as RM70,000 within Kuala Lumpur possible.

Under the proposal, developers can build affordable homes of RM70,000-RM80,000, homes at RM300,000, homes of market prices and shop lots at a ratio of 10:40:40:10; and the margins shared across the development to ensure profitability.

The concept entails the state government providing land for free and taking a cut of any profits made. On the other hand, the federal government will be tasked to push financial institutions to provide 100% loans to homebuyers who are unable to make the usual 10% down payment.