PETALING JAYA, Aug 26:
The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry is currently studying the possibility of creating a land bank to sustain the momentum in building affordable public houses.
Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said as land prices would rise over the next 10 years, it was vital for his ministry to buy land in strategic areas in the city centres and urban locations now, as an investment for the building of government low-cost and affordable housing projects in future.
"As there is no such policy for the government to buy land for future usage, we hope the Finance Ministry (MoF) will agree on this matter and provide funds for us to do so," he said at the opening of the 17th National Housing and Property Summit 2014.
Themed "Changing Landscape, Coping with a Challenging Year", the event is organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute.
Abdul Rahman said the government had received tremendous response on the government's initiative to build affordable houses under the MyHome (Private Affordable Ownership Housing Scheme) programme.
"Up until Aug 1, 2014, a total of 52,893 applicants have registered and 51 developers have applied for 55 projects to build 12,038 units. A total of 10 projects with 4,886 housing units have been approved so far."
He also said that his ministry had delivered 72,076 units of public housing, 12,101 units were under construction and 18,453 units were in the planning stage.
"As of June 2014, we have approved 67,636 houses to be built by private developers... we need to speed this up to achieve one-million units."
On the impact of goods and services tax (GST) that will be imposed on April 2015, Abdul Rahman said his ministry was working hand-in-hand with Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia and MoF to address the issue and hope indirect effect of GST on residential propery to be almost nil, or very minimal.
Abdul Rahman also said a person or company who wished to buy more than four units of residential property need not seek the government's consent, however they must register with the ministry.
"Government cannot say 'No' to the buyers, but we need to know who the buyers are."
Source: The Rakyat Post