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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sites for 10,000 affordable homes in Seremban

KELANA JAYA: 1Malaysia People’s Housing Scheme (PR1MA) has earmarked a few plots of government land as part of its plan to build 10,000 affordable houses in Seremban, Negri Sembilan, within a decade.

PR1MA is also eyeing private andpublic land in Johor, Malacca and Pahang, besides the Klang Valley.

PR1MA is a government unit tasked to build affordable quality homes for the people, with household income of RM3,000 to RM7,500 a month.

“We have identified three plots of federal land in Seremban. Our target is to build about 10,000 PR1MAhouses in Seremban over 10 years,” PR1MA chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Mutalib Alias said.

He did not disclose details of its targeted land.

“Our priorities (in building affordable houses) are urban areas in Johor, Malacca, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan, besides the Klang Valley,” Abdul Mutalib said at a briefing hereyesterday.

Seremban is poised to host PR1MA’s first housing scheme since the PR1MA Act was gazetted in January this year.

The scheme, to be launched on Saturday by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, will involve 1,200 units of double-storey houses under the first phase.

The three-phase project is sited on some 162ha in the northern part of Seremban, which is being bought gradually from private owners, Abdul Mutalib said.

PR1MA had decided to carry out the project there because there was demand for it, he added.

PR1MA is also finalising plans to launch several projects in Kuala Lumpur. These include a high-rise development at Bandar Tun Razak.

Abdul Mutalib said PR1MA will implement the Industrialised Building System (IBS) mechanism to speed up construction work.

IBS may be costlier than the conventional way but over time, it will be offset by the high volume of units built, he added.

“Of course, initially not all PR1MA projects will use IBS. It will be hybrid-IBS,” he remarked.

Industry observers said IBS would speed up the construction of housing projects by half the time compared with the conventional way, while needing only a third of workers.

The mechanism, however, would see a cost increase of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent.

Abdul Mutalib said PR1MA will ask private property developers to set aside part of their projects to build affordable PR1MA houses.

In return, the developers will be provided with the government’s facilitation fund supervised by the Public Private Partnership Unit.

Abdul Mutalib reiterated that originally, when PR1MA was announced last year, the scheme was only open to a narrow joint-salary band of RM3,000 to RM6,000.

This had created a sandwich group, and hence, the move to broaden the income eligibility to between RM3,000 and RM7,500 a month.

He also reiterated that PR1MA prices will be below market price, and will be the same for everyone, without quotas or discounts of any kind.

There will be a mix of PR1MA landed and medium-rise properties.

By Business Times

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