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Four agencies to form single entity for affordable housing

 

SUBANG JAYA (Nov 16): Instead of six, the single entity to oversee the provision of affordable housing will comprise four agencies, said National Housing Department director-general Jayaselan Navaratnam.

The Sun quotes Jayaselan, who said the Cabinet has allowed UDA Holdings Bhd and Federal Territories Affordable Housing Project (Rumawip) to be excluded from the entity.

"They find it more rightful for UDA to stay in the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development as it has a specific agenda to cater to bumiputra development. 

"For Rumawip, the Federal Territories Ministry requested (for it to be excluded) as it is confined to the Federal Territories and it is a small activity without any funding from the federal government, with their land being private-owned," he was quoted as saying, speaking at the Rehda Selangor Housing Convention on Policies & Regulatory Updates Impacting the Housing Industry.

The four agencies are 1Malaysia People's Housing Programme (PR1MA), Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, Housing Project for the Hardcore Poor and the Malaysia Housing Project for Civil Servants.

"Even though we want to have a single entity, we're finding it difficult to implement because everybody wants to have a piece of the cake. Out of the 19 agencies in the housing industry, we're only holding four," said Jayaselan.

The National Housing Policy (2018-2025), approved by the Cabinet two weeks ago, is aimed at a launch in December, he said.

"When you see the policy, you'd probably think 'Is that all'? There are 14 states with 14 (sets of) regulations and needs. We're trying to bring it down to one and that's most challenging."

The goal over the next five years is to first amend the regulations instead of the Act.

"The industry has evolved but the regulations did not, so we want to change certain things there to meet the needs of the developers and to support the needs of the purchasers. We want to enable developers and purchasers to have a 'free flow relationship', compared to now, which is more controlled," said Jayaselan.

Of the National Housing Policy, he said: "We want to sub-divide it into two, one for public and one for private. We realised public housing cannot be merged with private property. It must work in a different scenario and environment with a different ballgame."

According to the daily, Jayaselan said the Public Housing Management Act is being enacted and is likely to be incorporated into the PR1MA Act. 

As for the Strata Management Act (Act 757), it will be handled by the Federal Territories Ministry instead of the Housing and Local Government Ministry, while the Housing Development Act 1966 (Act 118) will see some amendment.

He also said that the Residential Tenancy Act, the Commercial Development Act and the Waqaf Land Development Act will be enacted.

"The Residential Tenancy Act will be enacted as we believe the market must move into a rental environment. The Commercial Development Act will be enacted as most of the residential units are built on commercial land and we're moving into mixed development and the idea in which shoplots are at the bottom (of a building) and residences above.

"Waqaf land is a state matter and we have all states coming up with different rules and methodologies so we need to streamline it," Jayaselan said.

The policy has five foci, 16 strategies and 57 action plans. 

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