Sarawak should be allocated a fair number of affordable homes from the recently announced one million units of such houses to be built nationwide in the next 10 years.
In making this request yesterday, Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda) Kuching Branch (SKB) chairman Sim Kiang Chiok said he welcomed the announcement with open arms.
"I personally would welcome the announcement by the federal Minister of Housing (and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin) to build 100,000 houses a year or one million houses in 10 years.
"My request is that the federal government would be fair in allocating and building (the affordable homes). (There should be a) fair number of affordable houses in Sarawak that would cater to the B40 only," he said when prompted for comments.
He was responding to Zuraida's announcement on Saturday that her ministry planned to build one million units of affordable homes in the next 10 years.
Sim was delighted that the federal minister said the ministry was in discussion with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and housing investors to offer financial scheme.
"This would also ensure that the houses being built would be sold and not left as overhang which is important so that people's resources would not be a waste," he said.
When asked about the price range for affordable homes, Sim responded: "Sounds (like) they (the ministry) might have other scheme and price range."
He quickly added: "Till she (Zuraida) is specific, (I) can't comment."
B40 refers to the bottom 40 per cent of income earners whose monthly household income falls below RM3,860.
Announcing the 10-year affordable housing plan on Saturday, Zuraida said this is to enable more people particularly the low income earners to be house owners.
She said her ministry would coordinate all housing projects under Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB) and build 100,000 units of affordable homes a year from next year.
"The 100,000 units will comprise affordable homes for all, especially those in the B40 group so that they, too, can each own a house. The location and number of houses for each state will be determined soon after we have discussed the matter with the respective state governments," she said.
According to Zuraida, the ministry is also discussing with BNM and housing investors that agree to come forward to provide financing scheme.
She said her ministry is doing this because those low income earners could afford to pay the monthly instalments but their problem is coming up with the deposit payment.