By Ruben Sario
Gracing the event: Muhyiddin, accompanied by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, greeting students at University Malaysia Sabah.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has expressed his concern over escalating prices of houses, which have made it increasingly difficult for people to own homes.
“House prices have skyrocketed. I often hear complaints that terrace houses can cost as much as RM500,000. Who can afford such houses?” asked the Deputy Prime Minister.
Muhyiddin said that due to family obligations, even those earning RM10,000 would have difficulty servicing loans for a RM500,000 house, which used to cost between RM140,000 and RM200,000 several years ago.
He was speaking to reporters after officiating at the ground-breaking ceremony for the People’s Housing Project (PPR), costing RM80mil, in Kepayan Ridge here yesterday.
Muhyiddin said a comprehensive approach was needed to address the demand for affordable homes, involving the federal and state governments as well as the private sector.
Muhyiddin said that while the Federal Government was willing to help fund the schemes, states needed to provide the land.
“We may need the involvement of financial institutions, such as the Employees Provident Fund and the banks as well,” he said.
Muhyiddin added that Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan had been tasked to hold discussions with state governments to identify the sites and determine the funds required to build a million affordable homes nationwide.
He said the Federal Government was subsidising about RM88,000 for each affordable housing unit.
“The cost of constructing each unit is about RM130,000 while they were being sold at RM42,000,” he said, adding that those who rent the units pay RM124 a month.
In his speech, Muhyiddin said that although the Federal Government would provide allocations for affordable housing projects, the target might be derailed if the sites were not available or a huge sum was required to acquire the land.
“Thus, we hope that the Sabah government can provide suitable sites, not only in Kota Kinabalu, but also in other areas in the state,” he said, adding that Sabah was given priority for affordable housing projects to cater to the needs of the lower income group.
Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman said that nearly 70,000 affordable housing units had been built at 92 schemes nationwide.