According to Penang’s Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo, a total of 22,500 affordable units will be built in Penang over the next 10 years. Thus, private developers should grab this opportunity to be part of the ventures. This is especially if the partnerships can be built between Penang Development Corporation (PDC) even if majority of the projects would be undertaken by PDC. He said that PDC has already started to build 540 units in Batu Kawan and more would be built over the next few years.
In another report online, the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said that Penang’s commitment to affordable housing is not there because the available state-owned land had been sold at high prices to private developers. He also claimed that over 10,000 units of affordable homes in Penang were held back because the state government has not approved them due to politics. This is detrimental to the residents of Penang. He also said that Penang was the only state which did not provide lands to the federal government for the purpose of affordable housing.
Personally, I have heard about affordable housing for a very long time in Penang and I think the units are starting to be built now. In fact I think the Penang state government has also accumulated nearly 52,000 applications and if 50% of these are qualified and approved, it meant that the units available are simply not enough. Both the state government and the federal government should be working together when it involved affordable units and not be fighting each other over this. I also think that all the approved applications should be published online so that everything is transparent and if there are really more qualified applicants than there are homes, a better and faster plan may be needed instead of the 10 year plan. Of course, in the mean time, the applicants can also consider some of the secondary ones which I think is still affordable. Just that for some reasons these units are not favoured by them including too far and not well maintained.
written on 9th Sept 2014
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