Rehda: Housing allocation in 2024 Budget shows govt's effort to ensure B40 included

KUALA LUMPUR: The various allocations set in the 2024 Budget for the B40 speaks volumes of the government's efforts to ensure that no one is left behind when it comes to housing.

The Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) said the initiatives include RM546 million allocated towards Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) in Johor; RM358 million towards the development of 3,500 residential units under 14 Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat; and RM460 million towards the extremely underprivileged in rural areas to build or repair their homes, would allow more Malaysians to own homes.

"The increase of Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme of up to RM10 billion to benefit 40,000 borrowers is also much-welcomed news, which we hope will assist to increase homeownership among gig economy workers and those without a monthly income statement," Rehda said in a statement.

It viewed with cautious optimism the announcement to reduce the majority consent for en-bloc sale from 100 per cent to a level consistent with Singapore's, which stands at 80-90 per cent.

This, it said, would better reflect the equity and voice of the people living in strata-titled properties.

"As Rehda and other stakeholders await more details on the announcement, we believe that should this come into fruition, it will lead towards a reformed urban regeneration landscape that will finally see Malaysia on par with other global nations in terms of urban sustainability," it said.

It also looked forward to more information on loosening the requirements for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme and hoped that it would be included in engagements and discussions pertaining to MM2H.

However, the association expressed concern over plans to introduce a four per cent flat rate for the stamp duty on memorandum of transfers on purchases by foreign individuals and companies.

Although the number of foreign ownerships in Malaysia is negligible, this may discourage homeownership and MM2H to those looking into migrating to Malaysia in the future.

Meanwhile, Mah Sing Group Bhd's founder and group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the government's urban rejuvenation initiatives which aim to streamline and expedite the redevelopment of ageing sites would encourage urban renewal and the redevelopment of old buildings in the city and is positive for developers who are actively looking for land for development.

He also said plans to encourage high-growth and high-value (HGHV) sectors such as the proposed Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) as a hub for the development of chemical and petrochemical sector, would benefit the group's biggest township Meridin East in Johor as interest increases.

In a separate note, Masters Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) president Oliver HC Wee said while it acknowledged government's effort in reforming the Malaysian economy and thanked the list of construction projects announced, it however said that it is still insufficient for the industry at large.

It appeals to the government to provide more assistance for the construction industry to revive and sustain the construction sector.

"It is also crucial to ensure that speedy implementation is efficient and transparent to maximise the impact on the construction economy.

"We hope that the ground work for the projects announced can be rolled out as early as the first quarter of 2024," said Wee.

It also urged the government to engage with local communities to address concerns, gather feedback and ensure that construction projects align with the needs and aspirations of the people.– BERNAMA

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