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More developers to build homes with PR1MA

SEREMBAN (Dec 14): More large developers are expected to work with the government to build afforable homes under the Projek Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA) housing scheme.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak — who launched PR1MA's collaboration with Sime Darby Bhd to build 2,200 houses in Labu, Seremban on Tuesday — told reporters, "They are coming on board one by one. Sime Darby is the first because they have land and are prepared to launch. So we gave them the honour."

The prime minister said PR1MA is scouting for land to undertake affordable housing projects.

The chairman of PR1MA is former minister and current ambassador to the US Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis and the chief executive is Datuk Abdul Mutalib Alias.

The first PR1MA housing project was launched in Putrajaya two months ago. But the project launched on Tuesday is the first development to be undertaken jointly by PR1MA and a private entity.

The project will have 2,200 houses on 62ha. The units are priced at RM200,000 to RM250,000 and the studio apartments will cost around RM140,000. Phase one will comprise 420 homes.

"This will fulfil the needs of those who earn RM2,000 to RM6,000 who are in need of housing but cannot afford houses at the high prices on the open market.

"With the cooperation between the government and private sector through a public private partnership, this programme will be able to provide quality and affordable homes for this group," said the prime minister.

Najib said the partnership is a social business model where the developer does not make any profit or loss.

"The government can come in through the facilitation fund, where we can contribute to the cost of infrastructure. It will be a very small percentage of the overall cost," he explained.

The project will begin early next year and is expected to be completed within 16 months as it will use the Industrialised Building System (IBS), which expedites the construction period. The houses will incorporate features such as a common solar system and rainwater harvesting system.

"The affordable and quality housing category is one of the strategic components of Sime Darby's property development plans," said chairman Tun Musa Hitam.

Sime Darby plans to build 21,120 units of affordable and quality homes, of which half will be landed properties. It has identified several areas for these projects, including Ara Damansara in Petaling Jaya near Subang Airport, Bandar Bukit Raja in Klang, Putra Heights in Subang Jaya, Kota Elmina in Sungai Buloh, Elmina West in Shah Alam and Lagong Mas in Rawang, Selangor.

(From left): Sime Darby CEO Datuk Bakke Salleh, Musa, Najib and Negeri Sembilan Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan at the launching ceremony at Bandar Ainsdale, Seremban. Photo: Patrick Goh of The Edge Malaysia

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