Govt establishes housing corp under KPKT

The corporation’s focus is to carry out research and strategic planning in terms of centralising the housing database

By S BIRRUNTHA / Pic by BERNAMA

THE government has established the National Housing Corp (NHC) to coordinate all housing development agencies under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) in a single entity.

KPKT Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said for a start, three housing agencies covering 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA), the National Housing Department and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) would be coordinated under the NHC.

She added that the corporation’s focus is to carry out research and strategic planning in terms of centralising the housing database in order to overcome the problem of mismatch between supply and demand, especially for affordable housing whether public or private.

“It will also look into the act, legislation, control, licensing and enforcement of housing regulations to safeguard the interests of all parties involved in the housing industry such as the buyers, developers, contractors and financiers.

“Apart from that, the establishment of NHC is also to manage housing incentives, rental schemes, housing financing, maintenance and management of unsold units,” she said in a media briefing after her official visit to SPNB headquarters in Shah Alam yesterday. Zuraida said the establishment of a single housing entity would also drive the country’s housing agenda more cohesively and efficiently in terms of finance, administration, and ensure adequate, quality and affordable homeownership for Malaysians.

She also noted that the NHC will have the role of coordinating and planning the construction, and preparing financial plans for affordable housing throughout the country.

“The NHC guidelines are currently being refined by the government and will be implemented either through amendments to the PR1MA Act 2012 or the establishment of a new NHC entity with a specific act to govern the agency.

“In the future, all housing projects under KPKT, including the People’s Housing Project, will be managed by NHC to coordinate housing development to be more organised and comprehensive,” she added.

The minister also announced the appointment of Arau MP Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim as the NHC chairman and PR1MA chairman, effective yesterday.

The appointment of Shahidan as the chairman of PR1MA replaces Tan Sri Eddy Chen who held the position in 2018.

Zuraida added that Shahidan’s five-term experience in the government and being an elected public representative were needed to boost the development and performance of PR1MA moving forward.

“What’s more, Shahidan was involved in the establishment of PR1MA when he served as a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

“I believe that the planning and establishment of the NHC is an important initiative for the national housing agenda and this requires experienced and competent leadership,” she said.

Meanwhile, SPNB introduced six new designs to its Rumah Mesra Rakyat (RMR) scheme yesterday, including the development of stilt houses.

Zuraida said the new designs would provide applicants with convenience and an alternative option to choose from the two designs offered previously.

She added that Pahang would become the first state in the country to have such houses under the RMR scheme and construction would begin soon.

As of now, a total of 47,153 houses under the RMR scheme have been built nationwide.

This year, SPNB has been entrusted by the government to build 3,000 RMR houses, of which 749 units are currently under construction, while another 1,531 are in the process of signing agreements.

Apart from new designs, SPNB said there are also new improvements to the existing RMR insurance coverage policy for new applications.

Applicants now will receive coverage against accidents and benefits for badal haji (haj by proxy), khairat kematian (death benefit) and hospitalisation payment of RM100 per day, aside from the existing fire and flood insurance policy.

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