GEORGE TOWN, Sept 21 — Penang developers have been told by the state government today not to force buyers of the state’s affordable housing units to take up additional “renovation” or “car park lot” packages.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said these additional packages supposedly for renovation and car parks should not be forced on affordable housing buyers, especially those who are buying low-cost units.
“The prices for affordable housing units are fixed by the state government so developers must only sell the units according to the fixed prices,” he said in a press conference in Komtar here.
Chow was asked to comment on claims by Penang Parti Rakyat Malaysia vice-chairman Ravinder Singh that the state’s affordable housing scheme was a farce as developers had tried to hike up the prices of these projects by compelling buyers to take up “renovation packages” that costs more than the price of the units.
The state’s affordable housing schemes are sold at between RM42,000 and RM300,000.
Chow said the state occasionally received complaints regarding this issue.
However, he said those renovation packages should be done on a “willing buyer willing seller” basis.
“Buyers can choose to take on the package or not,” he said.
He said affordable housing units are heavily subsidised and are being sold at way below the construction costs.
“The cost of a low-cost housing unit is now RM150,000 but it is being sold below this price,” he said.
He said some developers will provide renovation packages and car parks, bringing the units’ costs higher than the state’s fixed price.
“But this is optional and not a condition for developers to accept or not accept successful applicants for the affordable housing scheme,” he said.
He said eligible applicants being offered the units should be allowed to purchase the units once they get their loans approved without any additional conditions such as adding on the renovation packages or car parks.
He said affordable housing buyers should be given the option to do their own renovations instead of taking up the developer’s packages.