Putrajaya moots new aid scheme to subsidise housing for the poor

The government will offer financial aid of up to RM30,000 for each unit built under the MyHome scheme beginning April. ― Picture by K.E. Ooi
The government will offer financial aid of up to RM30,000 for each unit built under the MyHome scheme beginning April. ― Picture by K.E. Ooi

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 13 ― In a bid to spur development in the low-cost housing sector, the government will offer financial aid of up to RM30,000 for each unit built under the MyHome scheme beginning April, Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today.

The prime minister said the aid scheme will be used to subsidise the purchase of low-cost units by those with household incomes of RM3,000 or below, while at the same time take the burden off developers in having to absorb the construction cost.

“We have set aside a budget of RM300 million for 10,000 units. If the scheme is successful, we can consider topping up the budget,” he said at a press conference after chairing the first meeting of the National Housing Council.

Najib explained that the MyHome scheme works by allowing homebuyers to purchase property at the ceiling price for low-cost housing set by their respective states, using the subsidy to offset the construction cost.

For example, if the ceiling price is set at RM40,000 but the developer’s cost per-unit was RM70,000, the RM30,000 subsidy will be used to settle the difference, enabling a homebuyer to purchase the unit at the ceiling rate.

“The reason why we decided to go according to low-cost ceilings set by states is due to the wide variation in pricing to determine what is low-cost.

“Whatever the ceiling, the aid will be at a maximum of RM30,000 and is limited to those purchasing their first home,” Najib said, adding that purchases under the MyHome scheme come with a 10-year moratorium on resale.

The MyHome scheme was part of a raft of initiatives the prime minister announced under his 2014 Budget.

Najib said when tabling his budget in Parliament last October that the government aims to build 223,000 new low and medium-cost housing nationwide under several programmes which include the MyHome scheme.

Housing, Local Government and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan today noted that prospective homebuyers under the MyHome scheme will need to register with his ministry when the scheme is launched on April 1.

“They will need to register with us, and we will select who will be given assistance under MyHome... it will be on a first-come-first-serve basis,” he told journalists when met after the press conference.

Abdul Rahman added that likewise for developers, they will need to apply with his ministry first to be part of the scheme and only developers approved by his ministry can participate in the initiative.

“The priority will be for developments that are currently under construction or new projects. I must stress that this is not only about subsidy, it will also be a catalyst for the economy by encouraging more activity in the housing industry,” he said.

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