KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) — Those yearning to own their first home will definitely heave a sigh of relief over the government’s undertaking in not only providing affordable homes but also making it easier to own one.

For a start, under the 2013 Budget, RM1.9 billion has been allocated to build 123,000 affordable homes at strategic locations throughout the country.

And in making home ownership easier, those buying their first house costing up to RM400,000 will be able to enjoy up to 50 per cent discount on stamp duty. This privilege has been extended up to 2014.

This is a significant move by the government that will help thousands of people, especially the younger generation, to realise their dream of owning homes at a time where the prices of homes are beyond the reach of an average wage earner.

The three government agencies enlisted to realise the goal are the Prime Minister’s Department that manages the 1Malaysia Public Housing (PR1MA) programme, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) and the National Housing Department.

MIDDLE-INCOME EARNERS

The government is working hard to help middle-income earners in urban areas to own homes priced between RM150,000 and RM300,000 through the PR1MA programme.

This is achieved through the cooperation between private housing developers, where about 80,000 affordable homes will be built in locations such as Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam, Johor Baharu, Seremban and Kuantan.

These houses will be priced 20 per cent lower than the prevailing market value in the respective areas.

In Johor Baharu, for example, PR1MA has identified several locations in Larkin, Tampoi, Kulaijaya, Plentong and Pasir Gudang to build up to 8,000 affordable homes.

SPNB has been allocated RM320 million to build 22,855 homes, including medium and low cost homes under the ‘People Friendly Homes’ and ‘Affordable Homes’ programmes.

The ‘People Friendly Homes’ programme will see 21,000 homes costing RM65,000 built in 2013, with buyers enjoying subsidies up to RM20,000 on the sale price and another two per cent on interest charged.

As for low-income earners, who belong to the younger generation, the National Housing Department has been allocated RM543 million to undertake 45 Public Housing Projects (PPR) comprising 20,454 homes using the industrialised building system.

Civil servants will also benefit from this move, where 20 per cent of the new units of PPR will be allocated to them and another one percent will be reserved for the disabled.

Regardless, buyers are guaranteed of a selling price that is up to RM40,000 less than the market price of RM120,000.

REVIVING ABANDONED HOUSING PROJECTS

Apart from building hundreds of affordable houses for young income earners, the government is also committed to reviving abandoned housing projects.

Between 2010 and December 2012, through the earnest efforts of the Housing and Local Government Ministry, a total of 118 abandoned housing projects have been revived.

The ministry has also taken measures to ensure that abandoned housing projects are revived by developers themselves, including through the special tax incentive for developers who complete their housing projects.

Tax incentive is also extended to banks on the interest earned from the loan extended to developers to complete abandoned housing projects.

Such assistance has helped to revive at least 30 abandoned housing projects and has benefitted up to 8,000 buyers.

MANAGING SOLID WASTE

This year, the ministry is also focusing on another important component related to housing – managing solid waste.

Managing solid waste effectively is now a priority as the country can no longer depend on landfills.

The ministry is contemplating other options that are advanced and environmentally friendly, including state-of-the-art incinerators used by developed nations.

For a start, two incinerators have been planned in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baharu respectively.

MORE PLANS IN THE PIPELINE

Other components associated with housing and community well-being are landscaping in Kangar, Alor Setar, Sandakan and Labuan, constructing new public parks, installing CCTVs in 25 local government jurisdictions, transforming public restrooms and upgrading family recreational zones.

These are in line with My Beautiful Neighbourhood (MyBN) programme, with eight high-rise residential buildings getting a facelift, five burnt houses being rebuilt, and eight infrastructure and public housing being upgraded.

More importantly, MyBN has managed to inject the spirit of volunteerism in youths residing in public housing schemes in issues relating to cleanliness, infrastructure management within and outside of buildings, recreational grounds, sports grounds and others.

With so much help available, it is up to the younger generation to make use of this golden opportunity not only to own a home but to also enjoy the accompanying clean, beautiful and green environment.

– BERNAMA

source