State to build 50,000 affordable houses in 5 years – Abg Johari

BINTULU: The state government is targeting to build about 50,000 units of affordable housing throughout the state within five years to fulfil the promise made in Barisan Nasional’s (BN) manifesto for the just-concluded 13th general election.

FOR THE ALBUM: Abang Johari (centre) and others show the 1Malaysia sign as they pose with some of the tenants of PPR Bandaria Park in Bintulu.

State Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abg Johari Tun Openg said he will bid for more allocations for the purpose from the federal government to meet the state government’s policy of zero squatters by 2020.

Abang Johari said this during the presentation of house keys to about 300 successful applicants for the People’s Housing Project (PPR) at Bandaria Park in Bintulu yesterday.

“This means 10,000 units of affordable housing will be built within five years which will be undertaken by the National Housing Department, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) and Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (Prima).

“While for Bintulu, we will need about 3,500 more units of affordable housing due to its vast development as compared to other divisions,” he said, adding that within 10 to 20 years Bintulu will be experiencing greater transformation.

He also disclosed that they had planned to develop another 2,000 units of affordable housing in Bintulu in two years’ time at a proposed location between Samalaju Industrial Estate and Tg Kidurong industrial area.

PPR Bandaria Park Bintulu is located at Block 37, Kemena Land District.

“The main objective of the project is to re-settle the existing squatters and to serve as transit homes for the low income group and young families in Bintulu,” said Abang Johari.

The monthly rental for each flat unit is RM150 and qualified squatters will be given top priority.

According to him, PPR Bandaria Park comprises 17 blocks of 1,000 residential units, including 10 OKU units.

Common facilities provided are playground, surau, four community halls, kindergarten, six lockup shops, guardhouse and management office with one manager from Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and one technical officer.

The five-storey walk-up flat units have three bedrooms and two bathrooms, toilets, kitchen, dining and family hall within a 700sqft floor area.

One of the occupants, Andrew Sigai, 36, when met expressed his gratitude to the state government for giving him the opportunity to own a comfortable house, even though for rental.

“I came from Kapit and have been living and working in Bintulu for the past 16 years,” said the man who was among those who used to live in a squatter area in Bintulu.

Some 704 applicants from eight squatter settlements here who applied through the Land and Survey Department are qualified to rent the PPR flats.

Present at the function were Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Datuk Narodin Majais, Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Talib Zulpilip, Assistant Minister of Housing Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, HDC chairman Datuk Dr Abg Abdul Rafauf Abg Zen and heads of government agencies.

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