Saturday, August 15

Zuraida welcomes private sector support for affordable housing

0

Zuraida says the suggestion might provide better credit rating flexibility, especially in regards to applications for housing loans from the B40 lower income groups. — Bernama photo

Zuraida Kamaruddin

KUCHING: Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin welcomes the involvement of the private sector for affordable housing projects as she continues her efforts to improve the housing situation in the country.

Zuraida, who is here for a countesy visit to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, told of how developers from the private sector has shown support since she took office exactly one month ago.

“They see my statements, my media interviews – they see the direction I am taking and are very fast to respond with their support. I am very surprised.

“They have a sense of patriotism all around because of the new government. They are supportive of the new policies to improve the nation.

“They come and tell me that they are not focused on profits – that it is time to give back to the country. That’s the kind of attitude they have,” she said in an exclusive with The Borneo Post yesterday.

This comes as the ministry earlier on proposed for banks to take into account all other incomes of housing loan applicants, such as second or third incomes, to determine the criteria for repayment of the loan.

This is to address the high rate of rejections of applications from people in the middle- and low-income groups.

Zuraida said the suggestion might provide better credit rating flexibility, especially in regards to applications for housing loans from the B40 lower income groups.

“Apart from the second and third incomes, I think banks also have to look into projected incomes (when considering housing loan applicants),” she added.

“For working applicants, your salary increases from time to time. This has to be considered — in five years’ time, their income should be better than theirs now, so we have to give them that kind of assessment as to whether they can or cannot take up these loans.”

When asked on any updates of changing these loan requirements, Zuraida said she has yet to speak with Bank Negara Malaysia and Ministry of Finance.

“We are in the midst of scheduling a meeting with them — it should be very soon since this is a very important topic. I hope to do it within these next two weeks.”

Zuraida also highlighted the possibility of a rent-to-own scheme for the B40 group, who may prefer to rent for the first two to three years before making a commitment to buy.

She would be able to share more details once it is finalised and approved by the Cabinet which sits in July 2018.