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(File pix) Rehda was grateful to the government for taking heed of their call to extend the Step Up Financing Scheme.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia (Rehda) described the 2018 Budget tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as positive and comprehensive for all especially those within the M40 and B40 groups.

Rehda president Datuk Seri FD Iskandar said this was reflected through the various incentives and measures announced by Najib where RM2.2 billion has been allocated to build homes to boost home ownership.

Najib had, among others, said there would be a construction of 17,300 Projek Perumahan Rakyat units; 3,000 units under the Rumah Mesra Rakyat under Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB); 210,000 under the 1Malaysia People's Housing Project (PR1MA) priced RM250,000 and below as well as 25,000 units that would be completed by the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Project (PPA1M) next year.

FD Iskandar called on state governments to emulate the federal government's move in providing homes priced between RM35,000 and RM42,000.

"I appeal to the state governments to follow the federal governments stance. We can see that the federal government is serious and taking various steps to provide homes for those in the B40 and M40 groups.

"As for affordable homes, private developers will come and assist in building. We are open to engaging with the relevant parties and we will give our feedback," he said in a press conference at Wisma Glomac Damansara today.

FD Iskandar also thanked the government for the incentives provided specifically for the industry and for also fulfilling three out of eight of Rehda's wishes which are the Step-Up Financing Scheme, the MyDeposit Scheme and the GST relief.

He said Rehda was grateful to the government for taking heed of their call to extend the Step Up Financing Scheme.

The scheme, was introduced to the 1Malaysia People's Housing Programme (PR1MA) last year, includes more than 1,400 private developers which will definitely assist home buyers at the initial stage of purchase, especially with the issue of deposit .

He had also commended the government for continuing to allocate funds for the MyDeposit Scheme which was first introduced in last year's budget.

"Although limited to 2,000 houses only, the scheme will help encourage the development of affordable housing among developers. We hope the government will consider providing further allocation to benefit more people.

"As for the GST relief on services provided by the local authorities, it will be of great help to developers especially in these trying times where compliance cost is on the rise. In addition, the management and maintenance of stratified residential buildings provided by developers will no longer be subjected to GST effective Jan 1, 2018. The extension of this treatment will benefit the industry," said FD Iskandar.

The removal of the toll collections at Batu Tiga in Shah Alam and Sungai Rasau in Klang along the Federal Highway, added FD Iskandar, would also assist in opening up new housing areas due to better connectivity.

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