Friday, July 30, 2010

No hire purchase for PPR homes

KUALA LUMPUR: There will be no hire-purchase option for those seeking to buy PPR (government housing projects) low-cost flats.
Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Ministry explained this was because City Hall, which is administrating this home-purchase scheme, is not a registered financial institution under Bank And Financial Institution Act (BAFIA).

As such, it is not authorised to offer hire-purchases of the PPR low-cost homes under the scheme, meant to help the poor afford their own homes.

The Minister, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin today said: "There are interested owners living in the PPR homes who have also demanded they won't have to pay anything as they have been renting for almost 20 years.

"This PPR home rental scheme has already caused a loss to us as their RM124 monthly rent is not adequate to cover the maintenance cost for every unit, which is RM 250 monthly."

Not only that, the ministry argued if the hire-purchase scheme were to be implemented, it could only add on to rent arrears of tenants.

"Right now, we have the rental arrears amounting to RM30 million. The rent arrears could increase to RM90 million if the hire-purchase scheme were to be realised."

This, he explained, would add more burden to the tenants as well as complicating City Hall's administration and financial management.

In addition, the ministry is also concerned by some tenants being unwilling to pay their rents as well as demanding favourable payment terms based on the length of their stay in PPR homes.

The Paper That Cares had highlighted just 10 days ago the plight of many PPR tenants, who had been unable to obtain bank loans for the home purchase scheme.

Industry sources had said the straightforward bank loan system was implemented instead of the hire-purchase scheme originally proposed in 2008. This meant low-income earners - most of whom took home an average of RM1,000 a month or less - did not qualify for the housing loans.

One source had claimed only 2,500 made the cut from the more than 30,000 applicants for the PPR flats - just eight per cent of the total.

This basically translated to a mere five per cent of residents from each parliamentary constituency being eligible.

Another industry source added among the major problems were the reluctance of banks to aid the process - the original problem the home-ownership scheme was aimed at solving.

Responding on The Malay Mail's query on the complaints made by PPR residents over strict regulations imposed by the bank, Raja Nong Chik responded: "I am very concerned about this issue myself and even raised the matter in Cabinet concerning the reluctance of the banks to provide loans to low-cost unit buyers."

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had then instructed Bank Negara to take the initiative to ensure the banks assist the interested buyers. He added a meeting was held between the ministry, City Hall and bank institutions three weeks ago on this issue.

So far, nine major banks have been willing to partake in the effort, as Raja Nong Chik also said: "There should be no cause of concern for the banks to provide financial assistance to the PPR flat buyers as this is a secured asset."

The ministry would also continue to monitor the development between loan-applicants with the banks on this matter.

The minister had further announced a special fund would be set up, backed by selected banks and that the Credit Guarantee Corporation was willing to act as a guarantor for their housing loans.

A bank carnival for sales of (National Economics Action Unit) NEAC units and Public Housing (PA) units would be held by the ministry on a date to be announced later.

It was also announced today eligible buyers need to make sure all the due necessities for their loan applications must be settled within three months from today.

The deadline is meant to ensure there would be no dilly-dallying by the interested buyers as compared to the last time, where there were no deadlines given.

As of July 15 this year, City Hall Housing Department statistics show there were 18, 201 eligible buyers and 11, 499 eligible buyers have returned their confirmation form to buy the units.

A total of 1,928 buyers have signed the sale and purchase agreements - 1,080 of them had made a cash payment and 848 have already submitted their bank applications.

Credit - AZREEN HANI from Malay Mail

Friday, July 23, 2010

Government guaranteed up to 120% loan for PPR & low-cost flats

The Government is guaranteeing up to 120% loan from the total amount borrowed by buyers without fixed income for the MTEN public housing projects (PPR) and low-cost flats.

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin announced that an agency called the Housing Credit Guarantee Corporation had been formed under the Finance Ministry for that purpose.

“This agency will provide guarantee to banks on loans borrowed by buyers without fixed income,” he said.

“House buyers can borrow up to 120% loan on the unit cost. If the unit costs RM35,000, a loan of RM42,000 will be extended.

“The agency will also give guarantee to loans taken by fixed income earners of up to the 120%.”

Asked why the need for the extra 20% of the loan amount, Raja Nong Chik said this was because there were additional costs such as legal fees and mortgage insurance on the house.

“The mortgage insurance is a bank requirement, which takes up a big chunk, of about RM2,500.

“So the total cost of the unit could be RM4,000 more than RM35,000. If it’s just a 100% loan, buyers still have to come out with the extra cash which they may not be able to,” he said.

“Buyers should be able to obtain loans as long as they have a combined household monthly income of RM1,000.”

Raja Nong Chik said nine banks had agreed to the scheme and Bank Negara had organised a meeting with the finantial institutions three weeks ago.

A new three-month period has been set for buyers to sort out their loan matters with the banks, starting from Aug 1.

“If buyers encounter problems, they can refer to the DBKL Housing Management Department and even with my ministry through a unit that monitors bank loan matters.”

He said that after the three-month deadline, his ministry would try to help those who still could not obtain the loans.

Of the 18,201 eligible buyers so far, 11,499 have agreed to buy.

From the 11,499 buyers, 1,928 buyers have signed the sales and purchase agreement of which 1,080 are buying with cash while the rest are getting bank loans.

A joint carnival for sale of the said units will be held before Ramadan in cooperation with the banks, at a date to be announced later.

Credit - By LIM CHIA YING from TheStar

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Raja Nong Chik: A year of learning

KUALA LUMPUR: Today marked the first year anniversary of Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Datuk Raja Zainal Abidin assuming his post and shouldering the responsibilities of the ministry.

Speaking at a Press conference, Raja Nong Chik expressed his gratitude for all the support and also advice given to him by the people, including non-governmental organisations.

“Before I stepped into this post as FT Minister, I was told that I would not be able to handle the big responsibility that comes with the post. They said a lot of things, including the fact that I would have a very complex task and so on. But, I take it all as a challenge."

With a year having passed, Raja Nong Chik was glad to say that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is happy with the positive developments and improvements achieved so far.

Adding that he felt like he was back in school, the minister said he still has a lot of things to learn and improve on.

"I feel as though I'm still in college, learning. If I were to describe how this whole thing feels, it's like I have just finished my first semester and Alhamdulillah, I've passed with flying colours since our Prime Minister is pleased with the improvements and my performance. But I'm still learning and hope to improve further."

As FT minister, the Key Performance Index (KPI) achieved includes the sale of flat units under the National Economic Action Council's (MTEN) public housing project (PPR). To date, about 39,000 out of 44,000 units have been taken.

He also cited the ministry's focus on improving the people's quality of life and eradicating urban poverty through redevelopment projects like the four-storey Kampung Kerinchi flats.

It is the first project to be carried out, involving 480 owners and 11 blocks. The project is the first where the public choose their own developers to carry out the task.

While the ministry's focus before was only to monitor the three federal territories of Labuan, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, its role has now expanded to include the eradication of urban poverty throughout the country and organising urban well being programmes.

MANTAP is the way to go

KUALA LUMPUR: In conjunction with his one year anniversary as the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin today launched the ministry's five-year plan known as Strategic Plan and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Strategic Plan 2010-2015.

The objective is to renew and implement the ministry's new direction, commitment and mechanism to realise a safe and developed Federal Territory.

Six core strategic steps were introduced, forming the acronym MANTAP (steadfastness) where M stands for 'modal insan' (human capital), A for 'aspek ekonomi' (economic aspects), N for 'nilai tambah' (added value), T for 'teknologi' (technology), A for 'alam sekitar' (environment), and P for 'penyertaan masyarakat' (public participation).

Raja Nong Chik said four core values -- 'cemerlang' (excellence), 'amanah' (trustworthy), 'mesra' (friendly) and 'prihatin' (caring) would govern the implementation of the strategic plan.

"We will not forget our main mission which is to spearhead development for the Federal Territories, improve the people's quality of life and eradicate poverty in the cities," he said.

The outcome-based approach framework, added Raja Nong Chik, also focuses on the people's needs. "If we really want people to measure well, improve their performance, and meet their public accountabilities, they must own this process." he said.

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 18:34:00

Source : Malay Mail