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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

(The Edge Financial Daily) All housing under one roof?


KPKT mulls syncing government affordable housing schemes into one programme

BY TAN AI LENG

PUTRAJAYA: The housing and local government ministry (KPKT) is mulling a proposal to synchronise existing public affordable housing schemes — including PR1MA — under one programme to avoid overlaps, said its newly sworn-in minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

“Although PR1MA is not under KPKT, there is a possibility for us to propose to the cabinet to synchronise everything together instead of having two separate programmes which share the same target,” she told the media after a management meeting yesterday.

Zuraida stressed that by centralising all resources into one affordable housing programme, it could reach out to more people, thus, helping the right people achieve homeownership.

As part of its election manifesto, Pakatan Harapan had proposed to set up a National Affordable Housing Council chaired by the prime minister which will combine all functions of various agencies.

The council will be tasked with overseeing affordable homes construction matters, coordinating a unified and open database on unsold affordable homes and organise a rent-to-own scheme for the B40 and M40 groups.

On the difficulty of securing mortgage loans by homebuyers, Zuraida said there is a need to review the overall housing programme in the country to find out effective ways to make home prices affordable.

“Before this, I did have some informal discussions with the economic affairs minister [Datuk Seri Azmin Ali]; he did mention that Bank Negara [Malaysia] will need to be more relaxed in their lending guidelines,” she added.

However, she noted that there is a need to find a win-win way in which banks and homebuyers can benefit.

Zuraida, who is also Wanita Pakatan Harapan chief, arrived at the KPKT office here at 9.18am yesterday.

She was welcomed by KPKT Secretary General Datuk Mohammad Mentek on the ground floor, together with over 50 staff, before proceeding to 18th floor to “clock in” to work.

She said she has been briefed by all the senior staff in the ministry on existing projects as well as future planning.

“They have given me a good overview of the ministry and I’m glad that they are ready to study Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto on matters regarding housing policies,” she said.

Zuraida added that there will be another meeting tomorrow when urgent projects, such as waste management, will be reviewed, discussed and approved.