THE Penang government has agreed to reserve 20% of land from the proposed Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project for affordable homes, says state Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.
He said he had insisted for that reservation in order to have an adequate supply of affordable homes as the Penang population increases every year.
“The state will continue to build low-cost, low-medium cost and affordable homes even though the target of having 76,000 such units by 2025 under the election manifesto has already been surpassed,” Jagdeep told reporters after visiting the almost completed Iconic Vue in Batu Ferringhi today.
He was responding to a question from a reporter that there were claims of oversupply of these units since the housing target has already been reached.
Jagdeep said the priority of the state government was to ensure adequate supply of these units so that Penangites have a roof over their heads.
“Since 2008, 29,959 units had been built, 23,567 are being built and 48,809 have been approved to be built, bringing the total to 102,335 units.
“These units are, however, being built in stages, not overnight. There are new applicants for these housing units every day. So, there is a need to ensure adequate stock.
“For the PSR, it may take between 10 and 15 years by the time the first island is reclaimed. By 15 years time and beyond, the population in Penang would have increased. There will be a need for even more housing.
“And it would reduce our burden to look for place especially on the island where we have the scarcity of land.
“That is the plan. We’ve a plan. I insisted that 20% of land reclaimed under PSR be allocated and reserved for affordable housing. I may even ask for it to be increased. But at this point in time, that has been agreed (by the state government). The reclaimed land will be for industrial, commercial and residential purposes and even affordable housing.”
On the Iconic Vue project, Jagdeep commended the developer, Iconic Group, for building the 100 percent Type C affordable homes, costing RM300,000 onwards for each unit.
He said the location of the project is strategic as Batu Ferringhi is not only famous in Penang and Malaysia but also throughout the world.
Besides that, Jagdeep complimented the developer for providing quality materials and facilities such as a swimming pool with jacuzzi, wading pool, gym, children’s playground, multi purpose hall, bbq area and giant chess.
“This state government has managed to get the developer to build it in Batu Ferringhi. Without the government’s intervention, most developers would normally build condominiums worth millions in Batu Ferringhi and which could not be accessed by Penangites who want to buy their first home,” he said.
Also present at the press conference were Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang, Seberang Perai Municipal Council president Datuk Rozali Mohamud, Iconic Group executive directors Katherine Tan and Jason Chung, senior project manager Teoh Chiew Poh, sales and marketing manager Leonie Ang, state Housing Department director ‘Ainul Fadhilah Samsudi, senior principal assistant secretary Fakhrurrazi Ibnu Omar and principal assistant secretary Mohd Fauzy Mohd Yusoff, and also some of the buyers.
Tan said the project, which started in 2016, is now 92% complete and six months ahead of schedule.
“This project has only 232 units, the lowest density affordable homes in town. We have sold 228 units. We provide good quality which is similar to condominium specification,” Tan said, adding that they are now expecting the state Housing Department to issue a Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) supporting letter by September.
Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Chan Kok Kuan