CM: Govt to address housing shortage

Posted on : 13 Nov 2017  Source of News: borneo post online

KUCHING: The government will continue to play its primary role in addressing housing shortage and affordability issues through the implementation of various public housing programmes and schemes.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said while it must be recognised that with rapid urbanisation and growing economy, housing demand would always outstrip supply.

“The state and federal government will continue to allocate funds and resources in the provision of affordable housing,” said Abang Johari in his text of speech read by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at the Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda) annual dinner and Excellence Awards 2017 presentation at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on Saturday.

He added that the recent tabling of the National Budget 2018 saw Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announcing that every family could own a house.

The government, he added, would continue to intensify efforts to increase home ownership with an allocation of RM2.2 billion.

To encourage the construction of more affordable homes, the step-up financing scheme PR1MA would be extended to private housing developers subject to certain criteria.

“This shows that the government has a strong commitment in addressing housing affordability issue,” he added.

On another note, he said the government needed to strike a balance between housing and key social and economic sectors, and private sector participation in affordable housing provision became inevitable and necessary.

“Profit maximisation alone should not be the end result of everything that we do, but should be tempered with social responsibility, equity and justice,” he added.

He also pointed out that Sarawak has a large market for housing and property development with the increasing rural to urban migration, which has increased the working population and growth of the local economy resulting in the increase in demand for housing and commercial properties.

He added that the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project and the Pan-Borneo Highway project would also entail the development of new housing, commercial and industrial properties throughout the state.

To enable more houses to be built due to urban land getting more scarce and expensive, the government has reviewed the current density requirement.

“With the new density, we hope to meet the housing needs and be able to tackle the issue of urban sprawl into the cities,” he added.

Abang Johari further commended Sheda for being an important player and stakeholder in the housing and real estate industry in Sarawak.