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MDC appeals to govt about low cost housing, BTS and housing finance restrictions

KOTA KINABALU (Dec 19): The Malaysian Developer's Council (MDC) issued a joint communiqué seeking government consideration on the issues of low cost housing, the proposed "Build Then Sell" (BTS) system and the restrictions on the housing financing system, it said in a statement on Monday.

These issues were discussed by the member associations, namely Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia (Rehda), the Sabah Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Shareda) and the Sarawak Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Sheda), at their 15th MDC meeting held last Friday.

MDC believes that the building of low cost housing should be reverted back to the government and undertaken by its agencies and State Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).

"The council is of the view that the provision of low cost housing should be carried out through general taxation instead and housing developers should be allowed to focus on market driven products and affordable houses instead," it said.

As a result, this will allow the government to collect more federal takes from developers which can then be subsequently channeled to social housing, MDC added.

As for the BTS scheme, the council is concerned about its proposed implementation by 2015 as the only home delivery scheme. "The single mandatory BTS system will lead to shrinkage of housing supply and will impact employment, value chain suppliers and various downstream industries ultimately leading to higher cost, hence adversely affecting affordablility," the council said.

They wish for the current "Sell Then Built" scheme to continue as it has "proven to be an efficient, effective and economical method of delivery enabling the successful provision of subsidised low cost housing and housing to all".

Lastly, with the various articles on housing loans such as household debt, loan to value ratio, mortgage based on net income and the like, the council "request for more clarity and greater engagement with all stakeholders particularly housing developers as broad based announcements create uncertainty hence affecting the confidence of prospective buyers."

Moreover, MDC seeks further deliberation with Bank Negara Malaysia and the Association of Banks to come up with more transparent and clearer guidelines for the investing public.

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