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Ideas calls for review of affordable housing approach

20 Nov 2019 / 21:42 H.

PETALING JAYA: The government should review its approach for affordable housing by focusing on the bottom 10% (B10) instead of the current bottom 40% (B40), according to Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) senior fellow Carmelo Ferlito (pix).

“There needs to be a discussion about affordable shelter for the B10. For the poor to commit to a 25-year loan would put them into a difficult situation, especially when the economic cycle is bad. I’d rather advise the government to think about rental support rather than credit support,” he said at Rehda Housing Conference 2019 today.

Ferlito highlighted that the home ownership issue in Malaysia is not alarming as statistics show that the home ownership ratio is 76.3%, which is one of the highest in Asia.

He quoted the data from the National Property Information Centre as saying that half of the unsold units in Malaysia are priced RM200,000 to RM300,000.

“The lack of demand for housing shows that there is no big social issue but we probably need to identify the people who are really poor, that needs to be supported.”

Meanwhile, he opined that the government is too heavily involved in the development of affordable housing, which discourages the private sector from participating in the segment.

Therefore, he is suggesting the government to step back and collaborate with the private sector for development in the cities that have good job opportunities.

It added that the revitalisation of old and historical buildings is another option for the conversion into social housing.

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