PM Ismail Sabri says govt to make homes affordable even as Russia-Ukraine conflict pushes construction costs skywards

·3-min read
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (centre) looks at a replica of the PR1MA Astrum Ampang housing project in Kuala Lumpur April 29, 2022. — Bernama pic
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (centre) looks at a replica of the PR1MA Astrum Ampang housing project in Kuala Lumpur April 29, 2022. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today acknowledged that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has sharply raised construction costs worldwide.

He said his government is committed to address this issue even as he launched a new scheme to make homes in Malaysia more affordable, especially for the middle and bottom-income earners living in urban areas.

“Even though there has been a sharp increase in construction costs as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that has impacted house prices, the government is committed to ensure a solution framework is in place,” he said in his speech at the ground-breaking ceremony of Residensi PR1MA in Astrum Ampang here this morning.

He said the government recognises housing as an urgent need for Malaysian families under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

“This is in line with efforts to strengthen affordable home ownership for the B40 and M40 groups and prevent them from bearing a heavy financial burden,” he added.

Present at the event were Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, PR1MA Malaysia Corporation (PR1MA) chairman Datuk Fathul Bari Mat Jahya and PR1MA chief executive officer Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Md Sharif.

Ismail Sabri said housing prices in Malaysia can be considered expensive due to the current uncertain economic situation as a result of the pandemic, making it difficult for youths to own them.

“The government has heard the rakyat's complaints,” he said.

As such, he said the Housing and Local Government Ministry has planned a new residential project he called “Transit Oriented Development” (TOD).

“TOD housing makes it convenient for the youths to go to work but enables the country to reach its target of reducing its carbon footprint by 2030 in line with the Sustanaiable Goals Development (SGD30),” he said.

The PM held up Astrum Ampang as an example of the affordable housing project with extensive recreational facilities like a pool, gym, and playgrounds that the government has in mind to build, pointing out that it is accessible by rail to both the LRT and MRT.

He said the mixed development project is built by Astrum Ampang Sdn Bhd and that PR1MA is the investor and joint-venture partner.

He said the project will have 712 Small Office Home Office ― otherwise known as SOHO ― units and service apartments

He added that the units under PR1MA measuring at 450 square feet and 550 square feet will be offered for sale at RM250,000 and RM270,000 respectively.

“The government's aspiration is to build 500,000 affordable homes for the Malaysia Family under the 12MP as efforts to realise the 'One household one home' vision,” he said.

“This aspiration is very close to my heart and the government understands the youth's concern on having a place to shelter, especially when they retire,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said to achieve this goal, the government will continue to encourage the construction of affordable housing as done by PR1MA.

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