Premier: Sarawak to make developers pay instead of building affordable homes

SANTUBONG, Jan 6 — The Sarawak government will no longer impose the requirement for 30 per cent of new housing projects to be set aside for affordable homes in schemes over 10 hectares, Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said today.

He said the developers will be instead be required to make offset payments.

“We are in the process of discussing the formula on the quantum of payment,” he told reporters after visiting Sungai Bedaun affordable housing scheme here.

He said the quantum of payment will depend on the location and market value of land for the housing projects.

He said a percentage of payment will be required upon the approval projects, but the housing developers could also settle the amount in full.

He said he hoped that the new policy can be implemented by the first quarter of this year.

He said the state government will set up a trust fund from money collected from the housing developers to be used for the development of affordable housing scheme by the state government.

He said the Housing and Development Corp (HDC) will develop 30 per cent of the land for affordable housing projects.

“This is because there are housing developers that we can trust while the others cannot be trusted,” he said.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg during a visit to the Sungai Bedaun affordable housing scheme in Kuching January 6, 2023. — Bernama pic

He said many housing developers were alienated land on the condition that they set aside 30 per cent of the land for affordable housing schemes.

However, he said they took the easy way out by building low quality houses and not according to specifications.

He cited a case in Samariang in Petrajaya where the housing developer initially built good quality houses for show, but not the houses built at a later stage.

“There are many cases of housing developers who are like that. That’s why I have thought about changing the rules with many colleagues that the housing developers pay-in-lieu, instead of building the affordable housing schemes themselves,” he said.

He said many of the victims are government servants who took loans and have their salaries deducted monthly.



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