Will S’gor finally deliver affordable houses?

Last updated on 04/10/2013 - 07:35 Posted on 02/10/2013 - 11:00

Radzi Razak

SHAH ALAM: Will Selangor finally make good on its election promise to deliver 20,000 affordable houses? This time, it appears the state government is dead serious about fulfilling its pledge.

First-time house buyers in Selangor will now be given priority when the estimated 20,000 affordable houses are built as proposed for the 2014 state budget.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said that priority will also be given to young families to purchase these houses, which is one of the promises made in the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat election manifesto.

"Our policy is to give priority to applicants who are 40 years old or younger and have families. About 10% of these houses will be offered exclusively to those who had registered with the Tawas fund [Tabung Warisan Anak Selangor]," he said during a budget dialogue session recently.

He said the housing project could also generate income for the next generation.

"The affordable houses will cost about RM150,000 each. In the next four or five years, the value would increase to RM300,000 or RM400,000. It means that the next generation would reap the benefit," he said.

Khalid also announced that autonomy will be given to a new body under the Selangor Housing and Property Board to spearhead housing projects in the state.

He confirmed that the projects would also include the participation and cooperation of private developers such as Sime Darby, SP Setia and IOI Properties.

The houses will be constructed in Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Sepang and Kajang.

On Aug 28, theantdaily reported that state executive councillor (housing), Iskandar Ab Samad, has said the state government will establish a new body to look into building more low-cost houses.
This is because of the inability of the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) to provide adequate affordable housing.

The proposed vehicle, modelled after the Singapore Housing and Development Board, will be tasked with overseeing all affordable housing projects in the state.

"Previously, we tried to use PKNS to build affordable housing but we failed to reach our target. For example, a project that should only take a few months to complete has been delayed because of approval issues and all other red tape," Iskandar told theantdaily in a recent interview.