Penang’s HOPE for affordable housing

PENANG has unveiled a new committee, called HOPE (Housing Outcome Performance Committee) under the state Housing Board, to streamline the process of offering affordable housing units.


Datuk Seri Sundarajoo Somu, the state executive councillor in charge of Housing and Environment, announced that HOPE was established to ensure the execution of housing policies at the State level are aligned with the Madani initiatives, the Penang2030 vision and the Penang unity government manifesto.


He also revealed that the state has so far recorded over 40,000 applications on the waiting list since 2008.


The same platform also approved 915 names for affordable housing which was done online from the Housing Information System (Sistem Maklumat Perumahan).


“Following a HOPE meeting held on September 14th, the selection and offering process for affordable houses (Rumah Mampu Milik – RMM) will now be conducted online,” Sundarajoo said.


“As of August 31st this year, the housing information system has received 43,260 applications. However, only 7,686 of these applications have been updated,” Sundarjoo told a press conference in Komtar today.


Sundarajoo (centre) announcing the state’s affordable housing schemes, together with the Penang Housing Board members (from left) Nadzifah, Ainul, Mohd Fauzy and Fakhurrazi.


Affordable housing is categorised into three groups, both on the Island and mainland, as follows:


  • RMM A – 650sqft priced at RM42,000, eligible for monthly income earners of RM2,500 and below.


  • RMM B – 700/750sq ft priced at RM72,500/100,000 respectively, eligible for monthly income earners not exceeding RM3,500/5,000 respectively.


  • RMM C – 750/800/850sq ft priced at RM150,000/200,000/300,000 respectively, eligible for monthly income earners not exceeding RM8,000/10,000/12,000 respectively.


Out of the 915 offer letters issued, 404 were designated for RMM A, 81 for RMM B, and 430 for RMM C. The selection process involved applicants from all five districts in Penang.


Sundarajoo speaking at the press conference. With him are ‘Ainul (second from left) and Nadzifah (left).


The Penang Housing Board plans to launch a campaign encouraging applicants to update their data online in the system, particularly their marital status and monthly income every three years. This will help the government remove individuals who are no longer eligible for affordable homes.


Sundarajoo also announced the introduction of a new rent-to-own scheme for singles and young families at the upcoming People’s Housing Project (PPR) at Kota Giam in Jelutong.


To meet the current demand, the state government has proposed the construction of a 45-storey apartment with a 500sq ft studio units and a 44-storey apartment with 700sq ft units for young married couples.


The project, which will take place at the two-acre site in Jelutong, has been allocated RM100 million by the Development and Local Government Ministry.


Sundarajoo said Penang would also introduce a new affordable housing category for the B40s or those earning no less than RM3,500 but not exceeding RM5,000 per month.


Under the scheme known as RMM B2, they will be eligible to apply for a 750sq ft unit priced at between RM100,000 and RM150,000.


Under the former exco for housing Jagdeep Singh Deo, Penang has set a target of achieving 220,000 affordable homes by 2030.


To date, there are 152,263 affordable housing units that have either been built, are under construction or are planned for the future.


Also present at the press conference were Penang Housing Board general manager ’Ainul Fadhilah Samsudi, chief business officer Fakhrurrazi Ibnu Omar, chief operation officer Mohd Fauzy Mohd Yusoff and chief legal and enforcement officer Nadzifah Abd Rahim.


Story by Norman Sim

Pix by Law Suun Ting