THE Penang government is urging Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to come out with a special policy to overcome the high loan rejection rates for first-time home buyers, especially for affordable housing.
State Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said while the Penang government could continue to build affordable housing in the state, the biggest challenge for first-time home buyers was to get their housing loan approved by the bank.
“Previously, there were a few engagement sessions between the state Housing Department (now known as state Housing Board), BNM and other commercial banks to find an amicable solution to the issue but the loan rejection rates are still high, especially for those who want to buy their first affordable home.
“Thus, the Penang government, through the state Housing Board, will continue to hold discussions with BNM and other related parties to push for a better policy and alternative ways to solve the issue as quickly as possible.
“And we need the cooperation from BNM to address this matter,” Jagdeep told reporters during a site visit at Taman Sejahtera Rakyat in Simpang Ampat near Nibong Tebal today.
Also present were Sungai Bakap assemblyman Dr Amar Pritpal Abdullah and Penang Housing Board general manager Ainul Fadhilah Samsudi.
According to Jagdeep, the state government also has taken a proactive measure to tackle the issue of high loan rejection rates for first-time home buyers, especially for affordable housing by implementing a rent-to-own (RTO) housing scheme.
“Currently, there are 2,474 housing units under the RTO scheme in Penang.
“Our goal is to have 22,000 RTO units by 2030. We are also looking forward to adding more units to be rolled out in the RTO scheme.
“This shows that the state government is taking the housing issue very seriously and we care for our people,” he said.
Jagdeep added that the state government also had decided to increase the target of delivering 180,000 units of low-cost, low-medium cost and affordable housing to 220,000 by 2030.
Speaking about the Taman Sejahtera Rakyat housing project, Jagdeep said all the 41 units would be converted into RTO scheme at the end of this month.
“The project is already 100% complete and the Certificate of Compliance and Completion (CCC) is expected to be received in the second week of April.
“The project construction started in 2018 at a cost of RM5.5 million and is fully borne by the state government,” he added.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis