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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

EPF to channel RM1.5bil to fund FT special housing scheme

KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will channel RM1.5bil to the Federal Territories Foundation as part of a special funding scheme to help eligible buyers purchase public housing units in the city.

Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said the loan would be guaranteed against the housing unit itself.

He stressed that people should not be worried that EPF would be the “loser” should tenants default on monthly payments as the property was worth double or triple the price.

“We are not worried about not being able to pay EPF. If someone doesn’t pay up after six months, DBKL will buy it back. For DBKL to recover its costs, it has the right to sell off the unit to those on the waiting list.

“What’s important is that they (the buyers) can afford to pay. If they can’t, they should continue renting,” he said after meeting taxi drivers here yesterday.

The scheme, which starts on March 1, comes under the National Econo­mic Action Council’s (NEAC) People Housing Programme (PPR-MTEN) as well as DBKL public housing.

Raja Nong Chik said the fund would be handled by the Federal Territories Foundation, which would offer the scheme to eligible buyers in stages.

“The first stage involves 10,000 buyers. They will have to pay back between RM150 and RM300 a month if they get the loan. Interest will be charged but at a much lower rate than banks,” he said, adding that the loan must be repaid within 25 years.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the scheme’s inception after launching the 2012 Federal Territories’ Day last week.

Regarding the issue of taxi drivers lobbying for the abolishment of the coupon system, Raja Nong Chik said he would raise their concerns with the Transport Ministry and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

By The Star

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