KUCHING, Nov 20 — Private developers may no longer be required to develop 30 per cent of their housing scheme or mixed development projects into affordable housing in the future, but instead contribute money to a trust fund, said Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg.
Abang Johari said he is considering replacing such requirement with a trust fund system because the government intends to build more affordable housing and not rely on private developers to do so.
“Maybe what the private developers can do is that they substitute a certain amount of money equivalent to the 30 per cent of the affordable houses that they are required to build and place the money in the trust fund.
“I will bring this matter up to the State Cabinet for approval soon,” he said during the Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) Golden Jubilee celebration dinner held at the Penview Convention Centre (PCC) in Demak here last night.
Under the current state policy which was introduced in 2016, the private developers are required to allocate up to 30 per cent of their housing project to build affordable houses, preferably terraced houses if the land being developed is 10 acres and above.
Adding on, Abang Johari explained that with the money from the trust fund, the state government can build affordable houses at a certain area while the private developers can focus on their own projects.
“If developers contribute to this trust fund, then the responsibility to build affordable housing belongs to the state. Let us build the build the affordable houses for the people with the money from this trust fund,” he added.
Abang Johari said the money from the trust fund will also enable the state government to build more affordable housing that is up to the standards required by the government.
“We not only want more affordable housing for the people but we also want good affordable houses for the people as well,” he added.
Abang Johari said another reason why the new approach is necessary is because there were many cases of private developers not performing their duties well in building affordable houses lately.
He added that there were a number of cases being brought to the Sarawak Housing Purchaser’s Claims Tribunal where there were a lot of complaints such as houses having leaked roofs.
Among those present at the event were Minister in the Premier’s Department Datuk Seri John Sikie Tayai, Public Health, Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister Datuk Michael Tiang Ming Tee, Natural Resources and Urban Development Deputy Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh and HDC chairman Abdul Yakub Arbi. — Borneo Post Online