Penang State Government should match people to right housing unit

JasonLoo 20160120 Affordable Housing Price BIPENANG — Penang Gerakan Youth Legal and Public Complaints Bureau Chief Jason Loo Jieh Sheng expressed great concern over the statement by IJM’s Land Berhad Senior General Manager Datuk Toh Chin Leong on low-medium cost and affordable housing in Penang.

Toh was quoted in the Chinese dailies as saying that developers were worried that they might not be able to sell off all the 22,500 units of low-medium cost and affordable housing, despite the state government’s approval to allow the developers to sell on their own 30% of the said units in the open market.

Toh also said he had no idea how many units would be sold by the state government regarding the balance 70% of the total housing units. But developers would have to bear the maintenance for the unsold units.

Jason urged the state government to provide developers the necessary data so they can use the information to study the market on housing requirements and plan their projects according to the needs of the people. “Don’t just give developers the name list of applicants,” Jason added.

He said that the price range of affordable housing scheme is huge, from RM200,000 to RM400,000. He opined that the gap could be the cause why some people cannot afford the houses, especially those in the middle-income group.

He said some housing units could have been assigned to applicants who eventually cannot afford the house. “They might not be able to obtain bank loans, cannot even afford the down payment, or cannot afford the package by developers,” Jason added.

Jason also said that there is already an oversupply of luxurious condominiums and houses while low-medium-cost housing is in scarce. “And we now learn that data on sales of affordable housing is not clear,

“The DAP-led Penang State Government housing policy is a complete mess,” he lamented.

Jason urged the state government to explain to people of Penang. “State Exco member in charge of housing Jagdeep Singh Deo has a responsibility to inform the people whether there is any hanky panky that caused this to happen,” Jason added.