ESCALATING living costs and a wider compass of wants and needs have caused the once crucial primary concern of buying a home to move down the priority ladder. In fact, it is very rare, especially among the current younger generation, to own a house.
Then again, there are those like Jovan Tang, married to Cassandra Paul. A generation Y couple with a newborn, whose priority on tying the knot, was to buy a home. Between the two who represent part of the work force, they share their plight having spent months seeking to purchase a reasonably priced "roof" over their heads.
"Both Cassie and I work in Petaling Jaya. We heard about the many affordable housing schemes and homes for first-time buyers.
"Our combined incomes just about exceeded the eligibility criteria. Moreover, most of the residences under these schemes are located in areas that are inconvenient to us," said Tang.
With that, we explore some of the affordable housing schemes, concepts and programmes, their product price and range, location, specs and space and criteria for eligibility.
Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad known as SPNB was established in 1997 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary under the finance ministry. It was set up to provide quality affordable homes for Malaysian families, in line with the objectives of the National Housing Policy (NHP). Under this plan, the Rumah Mampu Milik Programme and Rumah Mesra Rakyat Programme were devised and implemented, providing the lower-income segment of society a chance to own comfortable homes. Another housing programme under SPNB is the Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR), introduced by the Federal Government, which was established to assist tsunami victims in Malaysia and Acheh, and those requiring resettlement having lived in flood-prone areas as well as squatters.
(i) Rumah Mampu Milik
Houses under this programme consists of low-cost, medium/low-cost and medium-cost houses. Purchase of houses under this scheme is open to all who meets the criteria according to the rules set by the state government. One needs to register with the state office or personally visit the nearest state office to fill out an application form.
Three important criteria for eligibility are:
1) Malaysian citizen aged between 21 and 50;
2) Does not own a home or possess any land big enough for a house to be constructed on in Malaysia; and
3) Total household income not exceeding RM2,000.
(ii) Rumah Mesra Rakyat 1Malaysia (RMR1M)
There are various house types offered under this scheme. These include:
• 3-bedroom houses of 1,000 sq ft
• 2+1-bedroom houses of 850 sq ft
• 2-bedroom houses of 700 sq ft
Eligibility criteria to own one of these homes: Malaysian citizen between the ages of 18 and 60; monthly personal income of between RM750 and RM3,000; does not own a house or land measuring 3,700 sq ft or more; depending on bank loan approval.
(iii) Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR)
This scheme was introduced in 1998 and offered housing built by the Malaysian Housing and Local Government (MHLG). It was aimed at providing homes for families earning less than RM2,500 a month. The programme was basically catered to benefit squatters, to be able to live in permanent homes (through purchase or rental) that were more comfortable and in a healthier environment. The PPR housing units offer 3-bedroom flats and come with facilites such as community halls, children's playgrounds, kindergartens, shops, stalls, a surau, car-parking bays and other public spaces that enhance the quality of life. Todate, there have been about 65 housing projects launched for rent, spread throughout Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Penang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Sabah, Sarawak and Kuala Lumpur; and 23 projects for sale, all located in Pahang. There are currently 21 more projects on-going in various stages of implementation.
(iv) Program Rumah Idaman Rakyat (RIR)
Under this scheme propelled by the prime minister, in line with the NHP, 3,000 housing units are to be built this year. Prices will be far lower than that offered by private developing companies. Basic eligibility requirements include:
• Malaysian citizen aged 21 and above;
• Personal income of RM7,500 or less;
• Household income not exceeding RM10,000; and
• Preference given to first-time home owners, people with disabilities and single mothers.
This scheme offers residential units comprising bungalows, terraced and detached houses, apartments, as well as shop lots. Prices of these housing units range from RM70,000 to RM250,000. The shop lots are priced below RM100,000. These units will be available across the nation, even in Sabah and Sarawak. Those interested can log onto the spnb.com.my official website for more information and fill up the application form.
(v) Skim Mudah Milik
This housing scheme does not just offer low-income earners a chance to purchase their own home but with a low down-payment of merely RM250. Houses under this scheme consists of low, medium-low and medium-cost units below RM100,000. The beauty of this scheme is that applicants can use their monies from Account 2 of their Employees Provident Fund to make their purchase. For more information, log onto the spnb.com.my official website.
B) PERUMAHAN PENJAWAT AWAM 1MALAYSIA (PPA1M)
This scheme was established by the government to assist "government servants" to own homes of good quality. Under this initiative launched by the prime minister in 2013, more than 10,000 houses were built within the Putrajaya area.
These were priced between RM150,000 and RM300,000 and measured between 1,000 and 1,500 sq ft.
Basic eligibility conditions included: Malaysian citizen; priority given to households earning less than RM8,000; open to civil servants and federal government employees; precedence given to those working in Putrajaya; and those with no bankruptcy order filed against them.
Lots were ballotted and results of successful applicants for its final Phase 4 residences were announced at the end of June.
Follow our column next week for more information on affordable homes and housing schemes under PKNS and PR1MA.
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