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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

(The Star) More affordable housing to be built on the outskirts

KUCHING: The Sarawak government will expedite the building of more affordable housing across the state to meet growing market demand.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said there is a long list of applicants for affordable housing throughout the state, with Housing Development Corporation (HDC) figures showing 67,000, mostly in urban areas.

“We are looking to build in the city outskirts including non-landed properties, considering that interest for apartments is growing among the younger generation.

“Of course, these new areas must have an efficient public transportation system to attract buyers,” he told reporters after visiting the new Rumah Mesra Rakyat 1Malaysia (RMR1M) project at Sungai Midin, Samariang, in Petra Jaya here.

Barisan Nasional Petra Jaya incumbent and Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof was also present.

For the Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions, Abang Johari said the upcoming light rail transit (LRT) system project will complement the opening of new suburban areas to ease population density in the state capital.

“Housing projects in new areas outside the city will be affordable due to the lower land value.

“This planning, dubbed transit-oriented development, will see us open up new areas with many residences including commercial areas,” said the Chief Minister.

Abang Johari acknowledged the increased demand for affordable housing due to the high market price of new houses.

He added that new affordable residential areas must be equipped with proper road network, efficient drainage and irrigation system, as well as public utilities including treated water and 24-hour electricity supply.

In his speech earlier, Abang Johari said the state will collaborate with HDC and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) to build more affordable housing throughout Sarawak.

SPNB has built 1,211 units of RMR1M houses throughout Sarawak, with another 1,000 new units approved for construction last year.

The government subsidised RM20,000 per RMR1M unit, comprising three bedrooms, two bathrooms units built using the industrialised building system.