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Monday, June 27, 2011

SPNB sets RM2.8b target by 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB), a wholly owned unit of the Minister of Finance Inc (MoF Inc), aims to achieve a total development value of RM2.8bil by 2016, if all the affordable housing units it plans to build are completed on schedule.

Kamarul: SPNB will complete 36,095 affordable houses by 2013.

Managing director Datuk Kamarul Rashdan Salleh said SPNB would be able to complete 36,095 affordable houses by 2013, of which 16,423 units have been sold.

He said the number of units to be completed over the next three years would still fall short of the target set under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (2005 to 2010) of completing 70,000 units.

Since venturing into building affordable housing in 2003, SPNB has of May 3 1, only completed 26 projects totalling 14,740 units for a development value of RM196mil.

The projects are located in Kedah, Perak, Pahang, Selangor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.

Another 21,355 units involving 28 projects are under various stages of construction. Of this, 17 projects comprising 14,575 units will be built in Sabah.

Most of the houses are priced below RM220,000.

Kamarul said funding had always been the main issue when it comes to building affordable housing.

“If there is more government allocation, we will be able to build more houses,” he said, adding that RM200mil had been set aside for SPNB this year.

Kamarul said SPNB would be building 2,500 houses for the poor this year. Most of these units will be constructed in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. Over 30,000 people in various states have applied for the SPNB homes.

Kamarul, who joined SPNB in 2009, said there was also the issue of getting the right parcels of land for development.

So far, all the land for its affordable housing projects were provided by landowners who are SPNB's joint venture partners in the schemes.

“If we opt to build the projects in more centrally located areas, we may need to acquire the land which could pose a funding issue to SPNB,” Kamarul explained.

Given the fund constraint, he said SPNB would need to establish joint ventures with landowners or contractors to undertake the projects.

In the last three to four years, SPNB has awarded contracts worth more than RM1.5bil to contractors to build low- to medium-cost houses, in anticipation of demand for its properties.

The joint venture with the contractors hit a snag when some projects were not completed on schedule and the works were shoddy.

Since 2000, 140 contractors had been blacklisted by SPNB for failing to deliver on their housing projects.

To address the problem, he said SPNB had, from this year, stipulated that contractors would be appointed based on merit to ensure that they deliver on their contract terms.

Kamarul said SPNB's role as the provider of affordable housing would also move up the value chain as it would also focus on housing products that are priced up to RM300,000.

“These higher priced units will complement the efforts of the developers and the various state development agencies in building more such homes in view of the rising demand," he said.

By The Star

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