KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory (WPKL) MADANI Neighbourhood project introduced by the Unity Government is the right move to help B40 and M40 groups own houses at affordable prices that correspond to their incomes, according to an academician.
Senior lecturer at the Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Prof Dr Ahmad Hariza Hashim said the WPKL MADANI Neighbourhood provides an opportunity for the target groups to purchase a house in the federal capital at a reasonable price.
“We know that house prices in WPKL are too high for these target groups to buy, but the MADANI Neighbourhood offers affordable houses for rent for the B40 and M40 groups, including youths.
“Through the rental initiative, they at least have the chance to save money in order to purchase a home in the future,” he told Bernama today.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced five MADANI affordable neighbourhood housing development projects in Kuala Lumpur to enable the low-income group to own their own homes.
The five projects to be developed are Residensi Prihatin MADANI, Residensi MADANI, Residensi Sejahtera MADANI, Rumah Majlis MADANI and Rumah Ihsan MADANI.
The Prime Minister said all of these projects, to be developed this year, will give opportunities to the M40 and B40 categories as well as youths to own homes with prices ranging from RM150,000 to RM200,000.
Elaborating, Ahmad Hariza said that the target groups, however, need to be give financial literacy training so that they do not have problems repaying the loans for their homes.
“Those who rent should also be taught about it so that they can plan and prepare to buy a home in the future. It’s also important to teach them how to be good neighbours so that this residential area becomes a well-kept neighbourhood.
The lecturer in housing studies also suggested that houses under the WPKL MADANI Neighborhood project be built in areas located near facilities, especially public transport.
International Real Estate Federation (Fiabci) Malaysia president, Datuk Firdaus Musa is of the opinion that the WPKL MADANI Neighbourhood is an effort by the government to improve housing projects for the target groups by offering more affordable prices.
When asked what the government could do to prevent the problem of unsold houses, Firdaus suggested that the government adopt the rent-to-own system for those who qualify for a certain period, before financing the purchase through bank loans or government schemes.
“The problem with unsold units is that buyers need loans to pay for their homes, and most of them, especially those in the B40 group, are ineligible for loans because the bank requires collateral for monthly payments. This could be due to factors such as irregular income patterns especially for gig workers and having too many financial commitments,” he said.
He also said that the government through related agencies, such as the Inland Revenue Board, must conduct background checks on each applicant to ensure that the WPKL MADANI Neighbourhood project reached its target groups.
Meanwhile, Norizah Ahmad, 40, said that although she was pleased with the implementation of the project, she hoped that the government would make sure that it only reached the target group.
“If the implementation is not done properly, it will be like the previous projects, where owners will rent out their units to others in order to make money,” said the clerk.
For private sector worker, Sahli Afif, 36, in addition to introducing the WPKL MADANI Neighbourhood project which is beneficial to the B40 and M40 groups, he hopes that the government will consider finding a solution to reduce the prices of affordable homes in the market.
“There are many unsold houses due to relatively high selling prices, so perhaps the government will consider reducing the price to resolve the property overhang issue that has affected various parties, including developers,” he said. – Bernama