KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today announced the construction of 80,000 units of affordable homes for the medium income earners in the Klang valley and the Federal Territory.

He said 50,000 units would be built in the Klang Valley under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Project (PR1MA) and the remaining to be implemented by the Federal Territory and Urban Wellbeing Ministry.

“This means altogether 80,000 units of affordable homes will be built,” he said when launching the PR1MA Alam Damai Cheras here.

Najib assured that the price of the houses under the project would be within a range affordable by those earning a monthly income of RM2,500 and RM7,000.

“Programme for this medium category is necessary because they are normally left out in the government’s programme.

“For the poor, we have programmes like the People’s Houses and we also have a programme for those staying in the rural areas,” he added.

The prime minister said the government realised that every Malaysian family wanted to own a house, but was hampered due to financial constraints.

“The desire to own a house is not something which is not realistic or not appropriate. It is in fact, a right of the people which has to be fulfilled in Malaysia,” he added.

Najib said it was on this realisation that the government had done its best to accommodate the people’s desire , including setting up PR1MA had had been entrusted the responsibility of implementing the affordable homes programme.

“When we study this matter indepth, we find that they want to own a house and the house has to be in a category which they can afford.

“If they have to pay a high monthly installment, even if they earn a relatively high salary, they will have financial problems every month,” he added.

Najib said the question on the burden of cost of living was faced not only by the poor or the low income earners, but also the medium income earners, especially those staying in towns.

“Those who receive income of RM5,000,possibly up to RM10,000, also will have financial stress at the end of the month,” he added.

He said the people should not view the implementation of housing projects, especially PR1MA, as merely a project for house ownership, but also a wealth creation programme.

“It is rare to have a project like this. If we buy a car today, tomorrow the value will drop, but if we get a PR1MA house today, tomorrow we may get a profit of 20 to 30 per cent,” he added.

On PR1MA Alam Damai, Najib said its launch was significant, especially for residents of Bandar Tun Razak, and the Federal Territory, as a whole, because it proved the government’s commitment to reduce the cost of living of the urban low income earners.

In fact, the prime minister said it was also in tandem with the implementation of New Economic Model introduced under the country’s transformation agenda which emphasised several principles, including fair distribution of wealth.

“The country’s economic growth, its effects and benefits must be inclusive. In other words, there is nobody, either in the rural or urban area, there is no big or small community which is exempted from getting the benefits through the country’s transformation.

“The urban people also want to own a house which is affordable, comfortable, of quality and live in a community where all their needs are provided, like recreation area, place to hold a feast, and most important, safe,” he added.

Najib said the project at PR1MA Alam Damai, involving 2,078 units, would be jointly developed by PR1MA, the Public-Private Partnership Unit (UKAS) and a private developer, Transgreen Sdn Bhd.

He said the project would occupy a strategic location as it would be accessible from the Cheras-Kajang Expressway and the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2), as well as three My Rapid Transit (MRT) stations.

“This is important because we have to provide the facilities for the people to commute to their workplaces.

“If possible, use public transport because besides reducing congestion, it also helps to reduce daily expenses,” he added.

PR1MA Alam Damai homes will have a floor areas of between 670sq ft per unit for a studio and 1,055sq ft for a three-bedroom unit.

Malaysians aged 21 and above and with individual or household income of between RM2,500 and RM7,500 are eligibly to apply for the houses.

Those keen to apply could do so through the PR1MA website at www.pr1ma.my.