Federal, state, local govts should cooperate on affordable housing issue, says Rehda

PETALING JAYA, July 13 — The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) has urged the federal, state and local governments to work together to tackle the affordable housing issue.
 
Its President, Datuk Seri FD Iskandar said the three parties should provide leeways to affordable housing developers such as collecting lower premium at higher density lands without imposing development charges.
 
“The governments and local councils must understand that land prices, labour cost and construction cost are getting more expensive,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Rehda Hari Raya open house here, today.
 
Hence, the outlook for the year would be less challenging if the leeways were provided, he added.
 
On affordable houses ownership in the country, Iskandar hoped the central bank could be more lenient with loan approvals and provide certain flexibilities to potential purchasers.
 
Houses priced below RM500,000 were considered as affordable housing, he noted.
 
Meanwhile, he remained optimistic that the government would adopt the revised National Housing Policy by year-end.
 
The policy, which among other things, emphasises on the price of the affordable houses.
 
“We are currently in talks with the government and believe the policy would benefit the house buyers,” he said.
 
On the suggestion for the state governments to buy unsold low-cost units and resell them through a Rent-to-Own (RTO) scheme, Iskandar said Rehda was discussing the issue with the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry.
 
“We are collecting data on low cost development in the country from more than 1,400 Rehda members nationwide.
 
“An in-depth study must be done before we could provide any suggestions to the state governments,” he added.
 
Source : http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/federal-state-local-govts-should-cooperate-on-affordable-housing-issue-says
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