Public housing projects in Malaysia should not only be cheap and affordable, but they should also be liveable with various amenities for the enjoyment of residents, Housing and Local Government Minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican told the Dewan Rakyat.
He made the statement in response to Nurul Izzah Anwar’s (PH-Permatang Pauh) question on the actions taken by the ministry to address poverty facing women and children living in public housing projects as highlighted in the “Families on the Edge” report by Unicef.
In his reply, Reezal shared that the ministry will make the necessary steps to ensure the needs of the vulnerable residents are met, reported Free Malaysia Today (FMT).
“The government will especially prioritise the housing needs of single mothers with low income, the disabled, and senior citizens,” he said as quoted by FMT.
“I also believe that our public housing projects must not only be cheap and affordable, but they must also be liveable with amenities like high-speed internet connection in place to cater to the needs of the children who have to undergo online learning.”
He added that it would be pointless if the units at these public housing projects are affordable but not liveable.
Published in May 2021, the “Families on the Edge” report by Unicef highlights the dire situation of 500 low-income families living at 16 public housing projects within Kuala Lumpur.
The report found that many single mothers at such housing projects have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the children lack access to food which provide them with proper nutrition.
Image source from KPKT