Govt mulls regulation on resale of affordable homes

This follows reports that owners are renting out and selling the homes to non-eligible occupants

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN & DASHVEENJIT KAUR / pic by TMR FILE PIX

PUTRAJAYA is considering a new regulation on the resale of affordable homes to the government as a measure to ensure that the houses are given to only eligible applicants.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the government plans to introduce the rule under the National Affordable Housing Policy (NAHP) to control prices and ownership of the units.

She said owners of affordable homes who want to let go of their units after the minimum holding period of two years may only be allowed to sell them to her ministry.

This came after reports surfaced that affordable home owners were renting out and selling the properties to non-eligible occupants.

The activities have led to complaints that the country’s affordable homes were sold to over-qualified buyers at inflated prices and rented out to immigrants which went against the government policy.

“In the future, under the NAHP, we want to ensure that if homeowners want to sell, they have to sell it back to the ministry,” Zuraida said in her winding-up speech on the royal address at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Later, Zuraida told reporters at the Parliament lobby that the ministry is working to refine the rules, which will be imposed on affordable homes launched in 2019.

“We have done our study and are trying to save as much affordable housing units as possible. But there is nothing much I can do about the old units. What we can do is enforcing this rule on the first affordable housing project this year.

“We are completing the standard of procedures and we will provide this to the buyers,” she said.

In October last year, the government said it would look into the proposal for the resale of affordable houses only to first-time homebuyers.

Meanwhile, Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad said although the sub-sale of houses is not subject to the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 which is under the ministry’s purview, the proposal will be considered by the government.

He said this would help to ensure that those who have yet to own a house will be given priority.

Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah — who is also a senator — said he found it bizarre that some people own multiple units of affordable and lowcost houses, while others have to wait for years for the opportunity to own one.