Raising the eligibility of those who can own PPR homes to RM3,000 is the right way to go and credit must be given to the Housing Ministry for doing this.
For in the cities, where most PPR homes are situated, a family living on RM3,000 a month is indeed a poor and struggling family.
Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar announced yesterday that the eligibility of first-time housebuyers for PPR houses will be raised.
“It will also be easier for the ministry to conduct thorough checks on all applicants.
“This is because the maximum household income of RM3,000 will be well-coordinated with BR1M (1Malaysia People’s Aid), where the assistance would be given to households with the monthly income of the same amount.
“It can be said that when applicants are eligible for this BR1M quantum, they are also eligible to apply for a PPR house,” The Star reported Noh as saying.
There will be three tiered checks – state, Inland Revenue Department and federal – before the list is displayed to the public and then be made eligible to purchase PPR homes. Those applying must not be owning any other houses.
The report further stated that Noh also said the change in the income level of the PPR house applicants will also match the income ceiling for those applying for Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd houses under its 1Malaysia People Friendly Home programme, which is also RM3,000.
“This is all in line with the Government’s effort in increasing house ownership among the rakyat, especially those in the middle and low-income bracket,” he added.
It has been a long overdue ruling, for many had questioned why they are eligible for BR1M but not eligible to purchase PPR homes. Now, something has finally clicked at the Housing Ministry.
PPR homes were first designed to house squatters, who exchange their current homes to being able to purchase or rent the homes – usually flats – through special schemes so that developers can develop the land they were squatting on.
These flats – which can range from 700 sq ft to 900 sq ft cost between RM30,000 to RM35,000 in the Peninsula andRM40,500 in Sabah and Sarawak.
In the outskirts of the cities, there are landed properties but these are few.
With this ruling, thousands more of the poor could now own their own homes, and the ministry can now turn their efforts to the next more pressing matter – the design of the PPR homes, which at the moment is more of a pigeon hole than one fit for housing humans.
This no doubt a mammoth task, and one would not be able to tear down the ones already built. But big cities such as London have been able to do this, and Noh should just watch the Youtube videos on how Parkhill was transformed from being ghetto-like to dream properties. (Just watch the videos, no need for trips to London. )
If Noh can redesign the PPR flats in his time, millions and future generations would be much thankful.