Deputy minister tells Parliament RM56,000 too low for contractors to build homes for hardcore poor

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 The Rural Development Ministry is seeking new direction from Cabinet for the government’s Hardcore Poor Housing Programme (PPRT) as it has found contractors unwilling to build them, Parliament was told today.

Its deputy minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad said the current allocation of RM56,000 for each PPRT unit is too low.

He added that even with the increase to RM67,000 a unit, no contractor is willing to build them at cost.

“It is not possible at a price of RM56,000 to build a PPRT, which now requires approximately RM67,000 for implementation.

“There is no contractor willing to build at the moment. We at the Rural Development Ministry are discussing new guidelines to bring to the Cabinet,” he said during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat.

Abdul Rahman was replying Jempol MP and backbencher Datuk Salim Sharif who wanted to know if the ministry planned to increase the allocation to build PPRT units next year.

Salim previously expressed his concern about the cost of building a PPRT unit with the cost almost reaching RM70,000, which is above the RM56,000 budgeted for public houses in the peninsula.

“This year, the ministry has allocated RM361 million for PPRTs nationwide. RM178 million to build 2,503 new houses and RM182 million for the purpose of rehabilitating 11,353 houses.

“My concern is about the ability of small rural contractors to complete houses at that price. The government needs to pay serious attention to this issue by taking into account the current cost of building materials so that the completed houses will remain high quality and safe to occupy,” Salim said.

On July 15, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the government had agreed to review the prices of PPRT homes under the Rural Development Ministry.

The PPRT homes are currently being sold for between RM60,000 and RM75,000 each.

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