‘Odd’ to let those earning RM3,000 rent public housing, says Penang exco

The Penang state executive council disagreed with Putrajaya’s proposal to increase the eligible income to rent under the public housing programme (PPR) to RM3,000 monthly. ― Picture by KE Ooi
The Penang state executive council disagreed with Putrajaya’s proposal to increase the eligible income to rent under the public housing programme (PPR) to RM3,000 monthly. ― Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 26 — The Penang state executive council has rejected Putrajaya’s proposal to increase the eligible income to rent under the public housing programme (PPR) to RM3,000 monthly.

State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo pointed out that the income level would qualify applicants to apply to buy PPR homes, and it would be “odd” to now allow them to rent instead.

“PPR units are for those who can’t afford to buy low cost units at all, we can’t place the rental applicants in the same category as those who can buy,” the housing development committee chairman said.

He said Putrajaya issued a circular dated October 12 confirming its approval for PPR eligibility to be increased from RM2,500 to RM3,000 and below.

“The Penang state exco has decided not to follow this and we will maintain the eligibility at RM1,500 and below,” he said.

He pointed out that the state also never adhered to the RM2,500 limit before and has always kept to RM1,500 and below.

“We have only 999 PPR units in Penang and thousands of applicants, we are short of PPR units so we will prioritise those earning below RM1,500,” he said

Jagdeep said he will officially write to the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry to inform it of the state’s decision and to obtain further clarification.

“The minister must answer,” he said.

He also called on Putrajaya to build more PPR units in Penang instead of increasing the eligible income, claiming that only 70 of the 20,454 units allocated to the state under Budget 2013 have been completed.

“In Budget 2017, a total 21,100 PPR units will be built but it did not state how many units will be built in Penang,” he said.

As for low cost housing, Penang also does not agree with the federal government’s proposal to increase the prices for Type A and Type B to RM65,000 and RM100,000 respectively.

“Penang will maintain the low cost housing prices at RM42,000 and RM72,500 for Types A and B respectively,” he said.

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