Safe, liveable homes for all
New Straits Times, 07 August 2023
In the 2023 Budget, the government allocated RM50 million through the Housing and Local Government Development Ministry to provide a safe environment in PPRs nationwide. - File pic credit (NSTP)
THE People's Housing Project (PPR) is an initiative by the government to ensure that those from the low-income category are able to have homes in a liveable environment and enjoy proper facilities.
In the 2023 Budget, the government allocated RM50 million through the Housing and Local Government Development Ministry to provide a safe environment in PPRs nationwide.
The initiatives include the increase of the quotation limit for lift repairs and maintenance procurement to RM1.2 million from RM500,000.
Another RM15 million was allocated to support the efforts of non-governmental organisations in providing remedial classes for children who are falling behind in their studies.
Other measures include RM30 million set aside to help people's economic activities, for instance, food businesses using the Cloud Kitchen platform under the supervision of Yayasan Hasanah and free Internet access at 56 selected PPRs.
In April, an additional allocation of RM35 million was announced for a programme supported by Think City to empower communities in PPRs in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
The move is expected to benefit 50,000 residents through the "Kita Untuk Kita" (K2K) programme for 12 housing projects identified as problematic.
"We have approved the RM35 million and it can be implemented immediately because there are houses in dire condition.
"I have also discussed with the Local Government Development Ministry to speed up the process by not following the usual tender, which takes a long time, but through limited tender," said Anwar.
Last month, the ministry approved a budget of RM211,405,000 for 41 projects in Penang.
Its minister, Nga Kor Ming, said the single largest allocation was for the construction of two PPRs, one on the island and one on the mainland.
He said another RM9.62 million was for 29 maintenance projects under the Housing Maintenance Fund (TPPM) and Housing Maintenance Programme (PPP), RM1 million for the refurbishment of the Astaka Tun Sardon (food court) and RM785,000 for nine small-scale projects, which will see 45 new Mykiosk for hawkers and petty traders.
Based on the initiatives done for the PPRs, it is evident that the government does not discriminate in providing relief to the needy, regardless of whether they are in rural or urban areas.
The development of Kampung Baru Cina was also given attention under the 2023 Budget with an allocation of RM104 million.
During a Dewan Negara session, Deputy Local Government Development Minister Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir said the first aspect entails the implementation of small-scale development projects to offer fundamental infrastructure and social services for residents.
"The second is promoting Kampung Baru Cina products, which is to identify goods from new villages with the potential to be commercialised by improving their packaging and marketing to make them more appealing and competitive."
He said the ministry also intended to develop the villages into tourist destinations to boost revenue and economy for the residents.
To create a welcoming and clean atmosphere, programmes are implemented to enliven the villages using a bottom-up approach that involves local leaders and villagers to beautify their homes.
He said the ministry was targeting RM67.38 million for infrastructure development, RM5 million for house repair assistance, RM1.12 million for new house construction and RM10.5 million to provide financing, including microloans, for villagers.
Additionally, an allocation of RM367 million has been set aside for developing new PPR projects that will benefit 12,400 new residents.
The Rumah Mesra Rakyat initiative under Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) would see the development of 4,250 housing units with a budget of RM358 million.
To help those without any fixed income, the government has set up Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan Berhad (SJKP) as a wholly-owned company under the Finance Ministry to guarantee financing facilities provided by participating financial institutions.
A total of 20,000 first-time house buyers will benefit from the government guarantees of up to RM5 billion provided through the Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme under SJKP.
To encourage more people to own a home, the government has decided to keep the 100 per cent stamp duty exemption for the acquisition of a first property priced under RM500,000 through the Malaysian Home Ownership Initiative (i-Miliki).
Under the I-Miliki scheme, first-time home buyers are eligible for a 75 per cent stamp duty exemption on homes priced more than RM500,000 and RM1 million.
Those who qualify should visit this website to find out how to take part in the initiatives and explore many more measures that the government is offering to the rakyat.