Thursday, 10 August 2017

(NST) 90,000 Johoreans in need of affordable housing: MB

JOHOR BARU: There are currently around 80,000 to 90,000 people who need affordable houses in Johor.

However, this will change as the people prosper and begin eyeing higher-end property, said Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

He said there is currently demand among those in the lower-income bracket for houses priced between RM150,000 and RM300,000.

Most of the demand, he said, is in the Iskandar Malaysia growth region in southern Johor.

"The number of people who truly need affordable housing in Johor is between 80,000 and 90,000.

"But as the people prosper and earn more, they will later look for houses in the above-RM150,000 category.

"For now, about 70 per cent of the demand for affordable housing comes from residents in Iskandar Malaysia," he told reporters after launching the Johor Affordable Housing (RMMJ) Scheme.

The scheme aims to build 444 units by Gunung Impian Development Sdn Bhd in Taman Impian Emas, Skudai here.

The 1,000 sq ft units, priced at RM150,000 each, will be completed in 36 months.

Khaled said that so far, the state government aims to provide 60,000 affordable houses in Johor by 2020, and is confident of achieving the target.

He said the state government, through a government-linked company, is currently conducting studies on the market segment for housing, particularly the demand for houses priced RM300,000 and below.

He said there is a need to conduct proper studies on the market segment for house demand.

He said under the RMMJ, the price range for a unit would still be mainted at between RM42,000 to RM150,000 depending on size.

Khaled denied any suggestion that the Barisan Nasional-led state government was ignoring opposition-held constituencies when it comes to providing affordable housing.

"Such policies are not based on politics. We want to ensure the wellbeing of the people," he said.

He said Johor BN's manifesto prior to the last general election was to build 6,000 affordable housing and it has fulfilled that pledge with 11,300 affordable houses completed as of this year.

"The state government is not going to sit back and relax even as we achieved two times more than the initial target of the number of affordable homes we promised to build," he said.

Also present were Johor Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Md Jais Sarday and Gunung Impian Development Sdn Bhd director Tan Sri A. Razak Ramli.