The authorities should establish a taskforce on affordable housing, according to Chang Kim Loong, Secretary-General of the National House Buyers Association (HBA).
In a report by The Sun Daily, he said the role of this group is to gather data and create a database of low-cost homes that has been planned, completed, and those under construction. It is also responsible compiling statistics on available excess units.
“The taskforce, comprising intelligent people, can also think of solutions on how to implement a rent-to-own (RTO) scheme for the middle income segment to assist them to own their dream homes,” said Chang.
This body should comprise banks, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), federal government ministries, state economic agencies and government-linked companies involved in property development. It should also include important players in the housing market like developers, architects and town planners.
To encourage private developers to construct more affordable houses, he recommended providing tax incentives to developers that undertake such developments and selling land at a lower quantum to home builders. Another is to expedite approvals for such residential projects and having utility firms shoulder the cost of installing the last mile of water and power lines.
The above measures require the cooperation of all parties involved, noted Chang, adding that home builders are unlikely to offer RTO houses without any form of help or incentive from the government.
As for the RTO schemes offered by PR1MA Corporation, he suggested that it should also be made available to middle-income households, or those earning between RM3,000 and RM10,000 per month, particularly those with young children and elderly parents.
“While the lower income group (those earning below RM3,000) can receive help in the form of social housing, the middle income group are left to fend on their own.”
“This group is in dire need of a RTO scheme as legally owning a house provides financial security in their golden years so they do not need to continue renting when they are no longer economically active/able to work,” explained Chang.
He said this during the “Dialogue on Sustainable Development of Affordable Housing” held on Monday (3 July). The event was organised by Cagamas Holdings, the parent firm of Kuala Lumpur-based mortgage broker Cagamas Bhd.
Also present in the event is National Housing Department Director-General Datuk Abdul Rahim Ishak, who revealed that they are presently creating a database known as Teduh.
Expected to be introduced in September, the database will contain information on planned houses, approved units, homes under construction, and those completed based on location, demand and price.