Putrajaya says mooting laws to take over public housing amid ghettos

National Housing Department deputy director general Jayaseelan K Navaratnam described apartments meant for public housing that have turned into ‘vertical ghettos’ and are suffering from bad maintenance. ― Picture by KE Ooi
National Housing Department deputy director general Jayaseelan K Navaratnam described apartments meant for public housing that have turned into ‘vertical ghettos’ and are suffering from bad maintenance. ― Picture by KE Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 ― Putrajaya is planning to enact legislation to take over management of public housing from state governments to deal with the problem of urban ghettos, the National Housing Department said today.

National Housing Department deputy director general Jayaseelan K Navaratnam described apartments meant for public housing that have turned into “vertical ghettos” and are suffering from bad maintenance.

“We are worried that we are creating urban ghettos, and this is creating another problem,” he told the 7th annual affordable housing conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

“Since 2009, we have begun refurbishing these houses because they are not well kept,” he said.

He said that while many parties point fingers at each other over the bad maintenance in these apartments, no party has taken up responsibility to manage the houses.

He also called the government “generous” for having done so much to accommodate and subsidise public housing in the country.

Current government policy states that if federal funds are used to build public housing on a state’s land, the management of the housing falls under the state government, while the land is given to the federal government.

Jayaseelan also pointed out that it was decided last month that all civil servants’ housing in Putrajaya will be managed by government-linked company Putrajaya Holdings.

“We decided that even the Management Committee will not manage them. It all falls under Putrajaya Holdings,” he said.

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