Audit report: Target of building 100,000 Johor affordable houses is far-fetched

Workers wait to start work outside a soon-to-be-completed condominium project at Kota Iskandar in Johor, February 4, 2015. — Reuters pic
Workers wait to start work outside a soon-to-be-completed condominium project at Kota Iskandar in Johor, February 4, 2015. — Reuters pic

JOHOR BARU, July 15 — Only 1,960 units of affordable houses under the Johor Affordable Homes (RMMJ) scheme can be built on average in five years, thus the target to construct 100,000 units by 2023, is still far-fetched.

According to the 2018 Auditor-General's Report Series 1, this makes the state government requiring 51 years to achieve its target of 100,000 units of RMMJ houses.

Attributing to the weakness in the Johor Public Housing (PRJ), the report also showed that seven or 58.3 per cent of the 12 housing projects had public quota distributions less than 80 per cent.

“Another concern that needed to be addressed is that 14 per cent or 73.7 per cent of 19 housing projects builds PRJ units less than 40 per cent, or 20 per cent of the total number of development units.

“Besides, there are two PRJ projects involving 427 units of RMMJ and 510 of low-cost flats or ‘sick projects’, and have taken time between six and 15 years from the date of sale and purchase agreement,” according to the report, issued today.

The report also mentioned a total of 31,537 units (81.2 per cent) and 12,590 units (89.5 per cent) of PRJ projects at Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) and Kulai Municipal Council, respectively, had not yet been built despite the Planning Permission obtained in 2000.

“The audits conducted from November 2018 to February this year sum up that the objectives of the PRJ Management have yet to be fully achieved,” the report said.

The report also explained that PRJ, which came into force in April 2012, was one of the Johor state government’s policies rebranded from the low-cost housing construction policy.

The objective of PRJ was to ensure the low-income group can own their own house, with the housing components offered through PRJ Policy, were Johor Community Housing Type A and B, RMMJ and Low Medium Cost Shop (KSSR).

To improve the PRJ Management implementation, the report submitted several proposals, which includes strengthening in the monitoring of the number of PRJ units built and offered, and to ensure a fairer and balanced distribution of quota.

It added all these recommendations should be done by improving the existing system with regard to the application process, salary and the total number of households.

The report also recommended drafting a house selling policy that would be more favourable to the buyers since there are a few abandoned and unbuilt housing projects despite the sales and purchase agreement had been signed.

In addition, it also suggested to set a maximum limit on appeal for penalty charges reduction and fix penalties for developers who refuse to build PRJ units with a more relevant cost by taking into account the actual cost of the house construction.

It was also recommended to ensure the expenditure from the trust account meets the purpose as it (the account) was created especially for building PRJ units. — Bernama

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