Property – One house per household

IN the Malaysian residential property scene, affordable housing has made headlines in the property sections of many newspapers and online real estate websites. The government's intent and plan: to help low-and middle-income earners own a home.

Considering facts like rising living costs, low income per capita, escalating house prices, the government and various organisations and developers have collaborated to provide the people with a wide variety of affordable housing schemes and programmes in its "pledge" for every household to own a home.

According to reports, beginning 2014, developers were instructed to ensure their housing development projects included some 20% low-cost and 20% medium-cost housing units. This resulted in the sprouting of affordable housing launches by government and private developers, made available to the people via schemes like PR1MA, Hijau E-Komuniti, MyHome, Rumah Mesra Rakyat 1Malaysia and others.

Over the next few weeks, theSun property team will explore affordable housing covering various schemes and eligibility requirements, as well as first-time buyer-assisted programmes for Gen-Y, along with other options as a space to make home of.

Schemes and programmes for low- and middle-income households

Some of the government-assisted housing schemes and programmes offered to medium and low income earners include:

A] Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia otherwise known as PR1MA. This scheme was launched in 2011, providing affordable homes in urban areas to middle-income households earning between RM2,500 to RM10,000 per month.

In 2014, a Rent-to-Own and 110% financing scheme was introduced to further assist house buyers of PR1MA projects.

Important terms and conditions:

>> Must be a Malaysian citizen.
>> Aged 21 and above, single or married.
>> Individual or combined household income between RM2,500 and RM10,000.
>> Owns no more than one property among both the individual and spouse.

B] 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing (PPA1M) programme took off in 2013. It was established to help civil servants own a house, particularly in major cities.

Important terms and conditions:

>> Applicants earning RM10,000 or less working in/near the housing area.
>> Preference given to individuals who do not own a property.
>> Civil servant in the workforce or retiree with a pension.
>> Only one application can be made.
>> Applicant is not declared bankrupt. A 10-year moratorium has to be upheld on approval.
>> Must not already be an owner of government quarters in the same area.

C] In 2014, Skim Perumahan Mampu Milik Swasta otherwise known as MyHome, was launched to assist low-income households own a house. The scheme saw the government provide a RM30,000 subsidy to private developers for every housing unit offered to first-time buyers earning a monthly household income of RM3,000 or less.

Important terms and conditions

>> Malaysian citizen aged 18 years and above.
>> First-time house owner.
>> Individual or household income between RM3,000 and RM4,000 for type MyHome 1 and between RM4,000 and RM6,000 for type MyHome2 (refer to other criteria on the official website).

D] Under the Rumah Mesra Rakyat 1Malaysia or RMR1M scheme, the government will provide a subsidy of between RM15,000 and RM20,000 for Malaysian citizens who meet the criteria for Rumah Mampu Milik under the government's Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) development project.
Important terms and conditions

>> Malaysian citizen aged between 18 and 60.

>> Household income of between RM750 and RM3,000 a month.

>> A land owner.

>> Never owned a house.

>> Married or caring for parent/s.

E] An interesting affordable housing scheme offered by the Penang State Government called Hijau E-Komuniti offers affordable and comfortable homes in strategic locations in Penang,
for Penangites.

Important terms and conditions:

>> Malaysian citizen born and working in Penang aged 21 and above.

>> Registered voter in Penang or residing in Penang for at least five years from date of application.

>> Household income not exceeding RM2,500 for low cost; not exceeding RM3,500 for medium-low cost; income not exceeding RM6,000 for affordable homes priced RM200,000; income not exceeding RM8,000 for affordable homes priced RM300,000; income not exceeding RM10,000 for affordable homes priced
at RM400,000.

>> Applicant and spouse must not own any property for low-cost or low-medium cost applications.

For more of such housing schemes and programmes, visit the respective official websites online.

Targets for public affordable housing under various schemes

Programmes Housing units
PBR 47,000
PPR 50,000
PR1MA 380,000
PPA1M 88,000
RMR1M 55,000
RUMAWIP 33,000
Total 653,000

Eleventh Malaysia Plan 2016 to 2020

In the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016 to 2020, affordable housing is included as a development objective, complete with a five-year plan. Among the strategies to attain the objectives are to increase affordability and accessibility for low- and middle-income households, as well as to strengthen management and delivery of public housing programmes to promote more efficient and sustainable affordable housing for the people.

According to the "plan", 11 factors are incorporated in its efforts to provide quality affordable housing over the next few years. These include:

1) eliminating housing approvals that are not based on demands;

2) reducing government maintenance funding;

3) improving co-ordination in planning and implementing through the National Housing Council;

4) encouraging residents' commitment in maintenance, cleanliness and prevention of vandalism;

5) using potential waqf and baitulmal land for development of affordable housing;

6) construction of transit housing for youth;

7) augmenting private sector participation;

8) developing maintenance cost sharing for low-cost housing;

9) enhancing access to financing schemes;

10) creating a land bank for future needs; and

11) establishing an integrated database of all affordable housing projects for effective planning and implementation.

While affordable housing may be just a small part of the big plan, it has at least been seen as a prominent element in the big picture of things to come and significantly targets to result in "one house per household".

Underlining action-driven developments that are people-centric and lead to positive long-term changes, the 11th Malaysia Plan, described as different from any other, anchors growth on and for the people.

Moreover, with the National Housing Policy up for review next year, it will be exciting to see what other beneficial programmes, schemes and subsidies will be offered to the people where home ownership is concerned.

Follow our article next week for more ideas and options for Malaysians to own a home.