GEORGE TOWN: Penang today expressed disagreement with the Federal government's plan to rebrand the People's Housing Project (PPR) to Malaysia's Housing Project (PPM).
Urging for reconsideration, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the rebranding exercise would result in higher market prices and out of the reach of the B40 group.
Currently, PPR tenants were paying a monthly rental of RM100 and maintenance fee of RM24.
"Because of this new programme, there will no longer be any new PPR homes in the state.
"PPR is to help the B40, but there will be no more due to the rebranding exercise. Hence, I urge the Housing and Local Government Ministry to review its decision," he said today.
Chow was echoing state Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo’s sentiment on the matter earlier today.
Elaborating, Chow said the minimum price for the yet-to-be-announced PPM would start at RM90,000.
This, he added, was higher than the state’s low cost (LC) and low medium cost (LMC) units which were sold at RM42,000 and RM72,500 respectively.
"This is why, Jagdeep cannot accept it, and I feel the same as well.
"The state government will continue to build the low cost and low medium cost homes but PPR is under the Federal government's purview," he added.
Earlier, Jagdeep conveyed his disagreement with the announcement on the rebranding of the PPR.
A letter dated Aug 20 was sent to the Chief Minister on the new policy change.
Among the reasons mentioned for the rebranding was the high cost borned by the Federal government.
Jagdeep said Penang had been sidelined by the previous government, with the least PPR homes built, at only 999 units.
Following Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the 14th General Election, Jagdeep said he finally saw a sign of hope with the new Federal government showing interest in building PPR homes in the state.
"PPR homes is what we have been waiting for all this while. This (announcement) is a big blow to me.
"I thought there was light, finally, until we receive this letter," he said today.
Through the rebranding, the state government is required to call for Request for Proposal (RFP) for developers to carry out the projects.
The houses then can be sold through the Rent-to-Own (RTO) scheme or with other financing methods.
Jagdeep said his disagreement was due to the minimum RM90,000 price tag, which is considered high.
“There are people here who cannot even afford the state government's LC and LMC homes.
"First of all, if we are to call for RFP and the house is priced at RM150,000, the people will have to pay RM90,000 while the state government have to pay the remaining RM60,000.
"Why do the state need to pay money when the Federal government is the one collecting the tax?" he asked.