News: Calls to create single authority for affordable homes grow

Nov 19, 2020

PPC International Managing Director Datuk Siders Sittampalam has called for the establishment of a single authority that would coordinate the development of affordable housing in Malaysia.

This comes as the federal and state governments have not been working in tandem to resolve issues regarding affordable housing. 

“Each state has its own equivalent to what constitutes affordable housing and has its own schemes and proposals,” he told The Star.

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He explained that the statutory body would be in charge of the development and management of affordable homes.

He believes the deterioration of low-cost homes will continue to remain drastic if it would be left to the market.

“You can continue to create affordable homes, but if it is not managed properly, it will just end up being another slump,” he said.

In a recent report, TA Securities noted that the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (REHDA) also called for the establishment of a new statutory body. To be patterned after Singapore’s Housing and Development Board, this new statutory body will be in charge of delivering social housing in the country.

With property sector still clouded by key challenges like affordability and oversupply issues, REHDA President Datuk Soam Heng Choon believes the government could “play a bigger role in solving these structural issues”, said TA Securities.

“First, the establishment of a centralised database and housing development board needs to be expedited,” it said as quoted by The Star.

“Specifically, the centralised database, which would promote greater transparency among stakeholders to share information and data, could help to ensure new housing supply is tailored towards the income and demographic profile of households across different locations.”

It noted the lack of coordination between the state and national agencies, resulting in duplication where the state and national affordable housing are being developed near each other.

The research house also underscored REHDA’s call for the revitalisation of the housing industry ecosystem, “given that the current cross-subsidy model has purportedly made houses more expensive”.

“For instance, the government should review the requirement of a low-cost housing quota and abolish unnecessary charges imposed on developers, as the savings will be passed down to purchasers through lower house prices,” it said.

 

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