KUALA LUMPUR: A legally-established body that will serve to address common issues at low- and medium-cost apartments is underway.
The chief task for the proposed National Housing Management Corporation (3P) will be to oversee a major process of redeveloping low- and medium-cost apartments, especially those which are dilapidated or more than 20 years old.
Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar told the New Straits Times that the massive plan laid out for 3P would also seek to address, once and for all, the issue of waste disposal for residents of these housing units.
The setting up of 3P, Noh said, would put an end to the issue of public housing projects being poorly maintained, as clearly evident in some states.
“Under the current system, when the Federal Government completes a PPR (public housing project), it will be handed over to the state government concerned.
“But this is clearly inefficient, as some states, especially those not under Barisan Nasional, had failed in their upkeep and ensuring the residents’ welfare.
“The one in Lembah Subang, for example, is unkempt and in a pitiful state.
“Not only is it not being managed properly by the state government... the problem there is worsened by residents not paying maintenance fee.
“The government feels that the time has come to establish 3P to better plan and maintain these houses,” he said.
The corporation will be governed under a proposed National Housing Management Corporation Act.
“The cabinet has approved the 3P Act and we have sent it to the attorney-general, who will finalise the law before we can table it in the Dewan Rakyat,” he added.
On the “demolish and rebuild” plan for houses that have been around for more than 20 years, Noh said the corporation would have to conduct an analysis on the integrity of the buildings first.
He said owners of such properties could, in the future, look forward to a home that has ample parking space, better recreational facilities, kindergartens and a rest-and-relax area for senior citizens.
Noh assured these owners that they would not lose ownership of their homes, even if their flats and apartments were torn down to make way for a better one.
The 3P Act, he added would make sure of that.
The NST had, in December, reported that the government planned to introduce a new “Housing Redevelopment” law to address issues faced by those staying in low- and medium-cost high-rise homes.
National Housing Department director-general Jayaselan K. Navaratnam said it was more feasible to rebuild some dilapidated PPRs, as maintaining them would cost more in the long run.
“Most of the existing PPRs are already more than 20 years old and we have seen the ageing effects... for these buildings, redevelopment is the way to go,” he said.
The ministry, Jayaselan added, also hoped to replicate Singapore’s success in reducing the maintenance cost for its buildings.
“We are looking at how Singapore redeveloped the Toa Payoh city in the 1960s… you will not be able to imagine what it was like before it was redeveloped. That is what we want to do.
“Redeveloping means that we will demolish the entire building and build a new one. The redevelopment projects will factor ways to minimise the cost to maintain them,” he said, adding that the redevelopment plan was part of the government’s initiatives to offer the bottom 40 per cent (B40) income group the opportunity to enjoy the country’s development and have a more vibrant and conducive living environment.
“We don’t want the B40 group to miss out on new development opportunities, because for many, this is their only home.”