KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia has expanded the eligibility criteria for its RM1 billion Fund for Affordable Homes.

Announcing the enhancement, governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the maximum monthly household income is now increased to RM4,360 from RM2,300 set earlier, while the maximum property price is increased to RM300,000 from RM150,000 previously.

The enhancement, which takes effect on Sept 1 this year, is an additional initiative by the central bank to help citizens in the bottom 40 income group to own their first home, she said at the launch of Financing Advisory Services (MyKNP) here today.

Later in a press conference, assistant governor Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid said the central bank has approved 296 applications for the Fund worth RM31 million as at end-June 2019.

He said the enhancement to the Fund would enable more people to access it, thus helping to increase its utilisation rate.

“We haven’t fixed any specific performance target yet, but the intent is to deal with the cases (unsuccessful financing applications) and help improve the eligibility.

“We do hope people as well as borrowers who had faced such rejection to make use of this facility,” he said.

Adnan Zaylani said BNM has received feedback that businesses and households face a lack of information and awareness over the viability of financing in the market.

“When they get one rejection from one particular institution, borrowers tend to generalise the whole ecosystem is not working for them.

“By doing this initiative (MyKNP), we are hoping to elevate their perspective and showcase there is a big ecosystem that helps prospective borrowers to get financing or improve their chances in getting financing,” he said.

The Fund, which has a maximum financing rate of 3.5% per annum, is available for property in the primary market only.

Borrowers must be salaried workers or self-employed and do not have any record of impaired financing for the past 12 months. — Bernama