RAC, MBI team up for affordable housing project

Some of RAC’s assets in Bangi have already been identified for the project

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Railway Assets Corp (RAC) has identified its assets in Bangi to develop strategic railway assets near transportation hubs including affordable homes with Mentri Besar Selangor Inc (MBI).

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said although the development is currently in its first step, some of RAC’s assets in Bangi have already been identified for the project.

“In the next two to three months, we will be going into details for this development, and in fact, one plot of land which has been identified is in Bangi, which we can immediately unlock for development.

“So, for that process to take place, MBI will plan for the development,” he said at the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing between RAC and MBI yesterday.

He also called for a strong collaboration between the federal and state governments for the concept to go through.

“At the end of the day, the development must be approved by the state,” he said.

Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said the plots of land that have been identified are in Bangi and Port Klang, and that the state will take its time with its planing and in divulging the costs.

“They still have to go through the same process of getting approval from the local authority, making the development order, planning, and of course, signing an agreement between MBI and RAC.

“Right now the process is still the MoU, but with the agreement, there will still be stakes and returns to consider, and they are all not ready yet as of now,” he said.

According to Loke, in Selangor itself, there is presently 1,461.35ha worth of land belonging to RAC.

“Using this amount of land, we can build tens of thousands of houses, which is what we can use to contribute to the goal of building 500,000 affordable homes within the first five years,” he said.

He added that the idea is to build transit-oriented development housing, and link them with public transportations.

“Hopefully with these ideas and collaboration, it will be an incentive by both federal and state governments to enhance the quality of people in terms of housing and transportation,” he said.

Loke said there is a policy that states prices of affordable homes in Selangor which have to be below RM250,000, while the federal policy states that affordable homes have to be priced below RM300,000.

“We will try to accommodate both policies with these housing projects,” he said.

The Pakatan Harapan government has promised to build one million affordable homes within a 10-year period.

According to the Migration Survey Report Malaysia 2016, a total 15.2% of migration occurs from rural areas to cities, which presents a challenge to the government to provide affordable homes.

Meanwhile, Loke also said the development is in line with the Smart Selangor initiative which targets to make Selangor the premier smart state in Asean by 2025.

“I am therefore pleased to mention that this objective conforms to one of the five main focuses of the National Housing Policy, which is to improve coordination between housing developments and transportations,” he said.