No longer deemed affordable

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The state Planning Committee has scrapped the requirement for developers to ensure that 5% of their units are priced at RM400,000 or below.

The developers’ quota for affordable housing program on Penang island has been adjusted to 5% units at RM200,000 and below and 20% at RM300,000.

This adjustment was announced recently at the Penang Island City Council full meeting by city councillor Felix Ooi, who is the alternate chairman for the council’s Planning and Development Standing Committee.

“The council is the executor for the state government’s policies so we will abide by the new rule,” he said when contacted.

The new policy will allow developers to sell their new units priced at RM400,000 on the open market, instead of only to applicants approved by the state.

However, existing affordable housing units at that price still fall within the purview of the previous application criteria.

Previously, developers were required to ensure that their projects included 5% units priced at RM400,000 and below, 15% at RM300,000 and below and 5% at RM200,000 and below.

While acknowledging that RM400,000 homes could not be perceived as affordable, Real Estate and Housing Developers Association immediate past chairman for Penang Datuk Jerry Chan said he could not see how the policy change would resolve housing issues in Penang.

“There is already a glut in units priced at RM300,000 as many potential buyers are having difficulties getting housing loans approved. I don’t see what this policy will improve.”

 

News Source:( The Star )

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