Affordable units? 1,000 people per 44,000sf

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According to wikipedia, a typical prison cell is 48 sf. Thus, if 1,000 people have to stay within a 44,000sf building, that means each person would have only 44 ft to themselves. This is smaller than a prison cell! Do not worry, if there are ten floors, then each would now have 440sf and if there are 20 floors, each would have close to 900sf, big enough even for a small family. The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has begun allowing developers to build higher density when they are building affordable units. Instead of the current 240 persons per acre, the newly approved ones can be up to 1,000 persons per acre. Of course, this is for high rise, thus the 1,000 persons should still have a decent and typical unit for their comfort and not living like sardines.

DBKL said that they had approved construction of 27,000 housing units under the affordable housing project, “Rumah Mampu Milik Wilayah Persekutuan” (Rumawip) since March 2015. Private developers would build these units with lands provided by the federal government. It pointed out a real problem which is a lack of affordable housing units in the capital. Exorbitant land price due to land scarcity is the main reason for these shortages. Fortunately however, these units are no longer the flats of yesterday but is supposed to be medium low-cost units with facilities.

Personally, I prefer to see more transparency and the completion of some of these units before believing that these units are actually doable. More importantly, the allocation should be transparent and the buyers should be FORCED to sign certain agreements whereby if they are caught renting the units out, they would have to pay a heavy penalty. The units should also not be sold to any third party and if needed to be sold should only be back the next approved buyer by DBKL. Yes, of course the price should be slightly higher then with the usual inflation rate adjustment. Proper housing is a right for all. Hopefully, no one calls me me up offering me a unit if I were to pay some “undertable” money. I will report this to MACC gladly.

written on 17 June 2015

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