Monday, October 21, 2019

AFFORDABLE HOUSING : FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST TAKE THE LEAD.

The Federal Government must expedite its decision on Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia.

It was previously announced that a due dilligence will be carried out and a decision on its future will be made.

The dateline as promised for the decision had passed and we are still waiting with bated breath.

Whatever the decision maybe the target for the low and middle income owning their own home could not be realised without government assistance.

Currently state governments like Selangor make it compulsory for developers with projects more than a certain acreage to provide a certain percentage of affordable housing ranging from RM42,000 to RM220,000 per unit.

Such policy managed to increase the affordable housing stock but many developers claimed that it is a strain to their finance.

This policy requires developers to subsidise the construction of the affordable homes as the land cost and construction cost is often higher than the approved selling price.

However there are allegations that developers inflate the prices of the non-affordable homes to provide these subsidies. In the end, it will be the case of housebuyers subsidising housebuyers.

Whether these allegations are true or otherwise, it is not sustainable to solely depend on private developers.

Malaysia needs an entity like the Housing Development Board ( HDB ) in Singapore and therefore PR1MA or other similar entity to address the nation housing issue is a must.

Although developers must also play their part but the provision of affordable housing must be the responsiblity of the Federal Government especially when huge cash subsidies are required.

Affordable housing must not be seen as a totally commercial exercise. The return to the government is not direct monetary proceeds but having citizens that are happy, contented, prosperous and efficient as a result of proper housing. Even the HDB in Singapore had received cash injections from its government.

Therefore appointing a corporate person with limited understanding of the problems facing the middle and low income earners to head this entity would not be very sensible

Dato' Iskandar A. Samad
Head Coordinator
REACH ( Resource Centre For The Advancement Of The Community & Housing / Pusat Sumber Untuk Kemajuan Masyarakat  & Perumahan )
18 July 2019

*Dato' Iskandar was the Selangor State Government Exco for Housing, Building Management & Urban Living from 2008 to 2018. He was also formerly a board member of the Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS), Lembaga Perumahan Dan Hartanah Selangor (LPHS) and Perumahan Dan Hartanah Selangor Sdn. Bhd. (PHSSB).

RUMAH MAMPU MILIK : KERAJAAN PERSEKUTUAN PERLU MENJADI PENERAJU UTAMA.

Kerajaan Persekutuan diminta mempercepatkan keputusannya mengenai Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia.

Sebelum ini telah diumumkan satu penelitian wajar (due dilligence) akan dilakukan dan keputusan mengenai  masa depannya akan dibuat.

Bagaimana pun, tarikh yang dijanjikan telah berlalu dan kita masih menanti perkembangannya dengan penuh debaran.

Apa sahaja keputusannya kelak, sasaran untuk mereka yang berpendapatan rendah dan sederhana memiliki rumah sendiri tidak akan dapat tercapai tanpa campur tangan kerajaan.

Buat masa ini kerajaan negeri contohnya kerajaan negeri Selangor telah mewajibkan pemaju-pemaju rumah dengan projek melebihi keluasan tertentu menyediakan peratusan tertentu rumah mampu milik yang berharga dari RM42,000 ke RM220,000 seunit.

Polisi tersebut berjaya meningkatkan stok rumah mampu milik tetapi banyak pemaju melaporkan ianya membebankan dan menyebabkan mereka mengalami kekangan kewangan.

Polisi tersebut memerlukan pemaju-pemaju menanggung sebahagian dari kos pembinaan rumah mampu milik tersebut memandangkan harga tanah dan kos pembinaan seringkali lebih tinggi dari harga jualan yang diluluskan.

Bagaimanapun terdapat dakwaan yang pemaju-pemaju telah menaikkan harga rumah bukan mampu milik untuk menampung tanggungan mereka itu. Akhirnya ia menjadi kes pembeli rumah yang menanggung pembeli rumah yang lain dan bukan pemaju seperti yang dihasratkan.

Sama ada dakwaan ini benar atau tidak, keseluruhan beban tidak harus diletakkan ke atas  pemaju-pemaju swasta semata-mata.

Malaysia memerlukan entiti seperti HDB (Housing Development Board) di Singapura dan sebab itu PR1MA atau entiti yang serupa dengannya untuk menangani masalah perumahan nasional adalah satu kemestian.

Walaupun pemaju-pemaju juga perlu memainkan peranan mereka namun pembinaan rumah mampu milik mestilah diterajui oleh kerajaaan persekutuan terutamanya bila ia memerlukan sejumlah peruntukan tunai yang besar.

Rumah mampu milik tidak harus dilihat sebagai bahan komersial semata-mata.  Pulangannya kepada kerajaan kelak bukanlah dalam bentuk kewangan tetapi wujudnya warganegara yang bahagia, makmur, sejahtera dan efisien hasil dari tempat tinggal yang sempurna. Malah HDB di Singapura juga menerima suntikan dana dari kerajaannya.

Sehubungan itu, perlantikan individu korporat dengan pemahaman terbatas terhadap permasalahan yang dihadapi oleh golongan berpendapatan sederhana dan rendah untuk menerajui entiti ini adalah tidak wajar sama sekali.

Dato’ Iskandar A. Samad
Ketua Penyelaras REACH
(Resource Centre For The Advancement Of The Community & Housing / Pusat Sumber Untuk Kemajuan Masyarakat & Perumahan)
18 Julai 2019

*Dato' Iskandar merupakan Exco Perumahan, Pengurusan Bangunan Dan Kehidupan Bandar Kerajaan Negeri Selangor dari 2008 hingga 2018. Beliau pernah menjadi ahli lembaga pengarah Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS), Lembaga Perumahan Dan Hartanah Selangor (LPHS) dan Perumahan Dan Hartanah Selangor Sdn. Bhd. (PHSSB)

RENT TO OWN : 4 SUGGESTIONS FOR THE HOUSING MINISTER.

I would like to congratulate the Housing Minister (KPKT), Hajjah Zuraida Kamaruddin, for announcing the launching of a Rent To Own scheme in September. Rent To Own is an important initiative to enable the low and middle income earners own their own home.

When I was the Housing Exco in Selangor, a similar scheme named DANASEL was launched in 2015. This scheme was first initiated to assist the urban settlers of Kg Rimba Jaya, Shah Alam buy the low cost apartments offered to them. Under this scheme, the  settlers will rent the apartments and have an option to buy them outright when they are able to obtain a bank loan.

From my experience with this scheme, I would like to highlight the following suggestions for the consideration of the Housing Minister,

1.) Part of the rental paid from the beginning untill the sale of the property will be deducted from the selling price.

For example, a participant of this scheme pays a monthly rental of RM800. If the participant decides to buy the property after 5 years, the total rental paid is RM48,000. If 75 percent of the rental is deducted from the property selling price, the participant will received a discount of RM36,000. The participant will only need to pay RM164,000 for a property sold at RM200,000.

2.) If the participants decide not to buy the property and move out, part of the rental paid will be returned to them.

For participants paying a rent of RM800 per month and decide to move out after 5 years, they will get back RM36,000 if 75 percent of the rental paid is returned. This amount could assist them to buy a house elsewhere. There was a similar pay back rental scheme called SMART SEWA when I was the Housing Exco in Selangor.

3.) If a participant is unable to obtain a bank loan due to poor financial standing, the rental will be converted to monthly instalments for the property. The government will have to decide the number of months to be paid untill the property is fully paid. It may take years but it should not be more expensive than a bank loan.

4.) The selling price to the participants must be the value of the property when the participants initially moved in and not the market value at the time of sale.

Rent To Own has the potential to ensure that affordable housing is accessible to all citizens especially those with inadequate funding to pay for their housing loan deposit and those that could not obtain any form of financing. The Federal Government with its vast resources must make this scheme a success.

Dato' Iskandar A. Samad
Head Coordinator
REACH ( Resource Centre For The Advancement Of The Community And Housing )
25 July 2019