Friday, August 20, 2010

Raja Nong Chik - FT Ministry to assist poor to get low-cost housing loans

KUALA LUMPUR: There is renewed hope for applicants of the City Hall low-cost housing whose loan applications were turned down by the banks as the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry is going all out to assist them to own the properties.

In a statement, minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said the ministry had arranged various measures to enable the applicants to obtain their loans to enable them to have a home in the capital city.

They include facilitating the process of Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals and helping buyers without fixed income to get Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme (SJKP) loans.

"Other steps include getting the approval of the appointed banks to give up to 120 per cent loan with the minimum wage set at RM1,000 a month and setting up a special unit to monitor the buyers' loan and approval processes from the banks," said Raja Nong Chik.

"The ministry will also ensure that the approval for each loan will be settled within three months beginning Aug 1. I hope the appointed banks will assist these buyers as they have promised to me."

Raja Nong Chik also hoped the buyers would expedite their loan applications so that it could be processed within the stipulated time.

"As an alternative, the ministry suggests that the government set up a special fund which will be managed by the Ministry of Finance to prepare loans for these buyers, should the (other) plans fail.

"The ministry is trying hard to ensure those eligible can buy the low-cost houses. This is in tandem with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's commitment based on the 1Malaysia concept, which is Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan or in other words, prioritising the rakyat's needs and the nation's achievements."

On July 9, The Malay Mail front-paged a report quoting sources who claimed only 2,500 made the cut from the more than 30,000 applicants for the 44,146 Projeck Perumahan Rakyat flats up for ownership in Kuala Lumpur — just eight per cent of the total. This translated to a mere five per cent of residents from each parliamentary constituency being eligible.

Sources had claimed then that among the major problems were the reluctance of banks to aid the process — the original problem the home-ownership scheme was aimed at solving.

On July 11, a memorandum on purchasing the PPR homes by way of 'rent and buy' was handed over to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the Setiawangsa Umno division delegates meeting.

On July 19, the ministry announced there would be no hire-purchase option for those seeking to buy PPR low-cost flats as City Hall, which is administrating this home-purchase scheme, was not a registered financial institution under Bank And Financial Institution Act (BAFIA), making it unauthorised to offer hire-purchases of the PPR low-cost homes under the scheme.

Raja Nong Chik said to date, 23, 211 applicants had agreed to buy low-cost units.

"Out of the number, 18,201 are eligible for bank loans, while 4,570 are those eligible with conditions. Those eligible with conditions are those who still have outstanding rental payment owed to City Hall."


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