GEORGE TOWN, April 4 — The Penang state housing board plans to approach the Putrajaya about using federal land to build more affordable housing in the state.

State housing and environment committee chairman Datuk Seri Sundarajoo Somu said there was federal land that was left idle and which could be used for affordable housing.

“Penang is land scarce so we need to look at other ways to maximise land usage,” he said in a press conference after chairing a Housing Outcome Performance Committee (Hope) meeting in Komtar today.

“We will be approaching the federal government to propose possible joint ventures to build affordable housing projects on these lands,” he added,


He said as of today, a total 157,000 units of affordable housing were completed, under construction or approved in Penang.

“We need to build another 60,000 units more to meet our target so by looking at vacant federal-owned lands, we hope to approve and build around 10,000 units per year,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sundarajoo said Hope held its very first meeting in September last year and has since held five more meetings including today.


In each meeting, he said the committee had approved applications for all categories of affordable housing priced between RM42,000 and RM300,000.

“A total 2,722 applications for all categories of affordable housing were approved in the six meetings held since September last year,” he said.

He said they try to clear as many applications as possible in each meeting to shorten the waiting period for applicants.

Although there were a total 41,788 names registered in the system, he said only 8,135 applicants have updated their latest information in the system to be eligible for affordable housing offers.

“Applicants must update their information in our system every three years for their names to be considered for a housing unit offer,” he said.

He said those who registered before 2020 needed to update their information with the state housing board.

“In today’s meeting, some people who have updated their information just last month were offered units, so those who wish to get housing offers, please update your information,” he said.

He said applicants can update their information online or go to any of the counters during the housing board roadshows.

“We will continue to organise roadshows to make it easier for applicants to update their data with us,” he said.

On the difficulties successful applicants faced in forking out deposits to purchase their affordable units, Sundarajoo said the state is looking at ways to help the buyers to buy their homes with zero deposit.

“We know there are banks offering 110 per cent housing loans with the 10 per cent to pay for renovations so we are discussing with banks on how to help affordable housing purchasers,” he said.

Penang currently has five different affordable housing categories: RMM A priced at RM42,000 for those with household incomes of RM2,500; RMM B1 at RM72,500 for household incomes of RM3,500; RMM C1 at RM150,000 for income of RM8,000; RMM C2 at RM200,000 for income of RM10,000; and RMM C3 at RM300,000 for income of RM12,000.

Sundarajoo said Hope meets every month to evaluate and approve eligible applicants for the housing units.

“There were always complains that waiting time is long so we will shorten this, and as long as the applicants update their data now, they will be eligible to be considered very soon,” he said.