Shareda objects to 30 pct low-cost house proposal

Susan Wong

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Housing And Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) strongly objects to the government’s proposal for private developers to build 30 per cent of low-cost houses in new housing schemes in urban areas of Sabah.

Its president, Datuk Susan Wong, said development cost would go up and this would increase the burden of medium cost and above house purchasers.

“The 30 per cent low cost concept will add more subsidy burden onto the project cost and this will push up price of houses further, causing more economic distortions to the already chaotic situation because of uncontrollable inflation in the economy,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Susan pointed out it is incompatible to mix medium and above cost development with low cost in the same urban project location because of high conflicting management culture.

Low-cost housing dwellers mostly rely on government subsidies.

However, she said Shareda is willing to assist the government to work out a practical and timely solution to address the low-cost housing issue within the state.

The government’s Sabah Housing and Town Development Board (LPPB) and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) should focus on building low-cost housing in line with the government’s objective of providing low-cost housing to the people, instead of building high-medium cost houses, she said.

Susan added the government should build more low-cost housing for rental instead of encouraging ownership as a social responsibility from government revenues.

Local Government and Housing Datuk Hj Hajiji Hj Noor Minister announced during the state assembly sitting last week that housing developers in Sabah may soon be required to allocate 30 per cent of their new housing schemes for low-cost houses.

He saidthe move was to help ensure the low-income group could afford to buy houses in urban areas.

“In fact this policy is nothing new. It has been in force in Peninsular Malaysia for some time and found to be effective in helping the low-income group own houses,” he stressed.

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