Penang exco: State govt to build its own affordable housing project in Bayan Baru

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An artist's impression of the first affordable housing project by the Penang state housing board. — Picture courtesy of Jagdeep Singh Deo's office
An artist's impression of the first affordable housing project by the Penang state housing board. — Picture courtesy of Jagdeep Singh Deo's office

GEORGE TOWN, June 14 — The Penang state housing board will be building its first affordable housing project in Bayan Baru which is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Housing, local government and town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said a total 1,267 affordable units will be built at the site in Bukit Gedung.

“There will be a total 253 low medium-cost units and 1,014 affordable housing units,” he said.

The low and medium-cost units, at 700 sq feet each unit, will be priced at RM72,500 each while the affordable housing units, at 850 sq feet each unit, will be priced at RM270,000 each.

Other than the affordable housing component, there will also be 21 units of a three-storey commercial block.

The development will be located on a plot land in Bukit Gedung measuring 7.6 acres (3 hectares).

Jagdeep said the project will be equipped with facilities such as a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a children’s playground, a gymnasium and a study room.

“This is the very first project under the state housing board and we want to realise this project as soon as possible,” he said, adding that more projects will also be introduced in the future.

The project is expected to begin next year and it will take about three years to be fully completed, by 2025.

On the state’s objective to have 220,000 units of various types of affordable housing units in the state, he said there are now 119,116 affordable housing units in the state which make up 54.1 per cent of the state’s target.

Out of the 119,116 units, 38,149 units have been completed, 18,519 units are under construction and 62,448 units are under planning.

Out of the 119,116 units, 26,616 are low-cost units priced at RM42,000 each, 30,159 units are low medium cost units priced at RM72,500 each and 62,341 units are affordable housing units priced at RM270,000 each.

As part of the state’s homeownership campaign, which was extended until June 2022, Jagdeep said a 10 per cent discount is given for all housing units across the board.

“Under the buyer oriented initiative, the ceiling price for affordable housing units in Penang have been reduced to RM270,000 per unit on the island and RM180,000 on the mainland for units measuring a minimum of 850 sq feet,” he said.

He said this policy will be ongoing to encourage homebuyers to buy their first homes at affordable prices.

“As an incentive to developers to build more affordable housing units, the state has approved the guideline for developers to build 120 units per acre of low medium-cost housing on the island,” he said.

He said the long waiting list for low-cost and low medium-cost housing meant that there is a need to optimise land use especially on the island.

He said this meant that the state now allows developers to increase the density for low and medium-cost projects to a plot ratio of up to four, which is double of what they could originally build.

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