KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 – Apartments under the 1Malaysia People’s Housing Project (PR1MA) in Cameron Highlands should be priced from a minimum of RM60,000 each, or half the present price for the cheapest units. Cameron Highlands Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) branch chief Suresh Kumar said the present housing cost for PR1MA homes was still beyond the reach of many from the lower-income group.
PR1MA housing in Cameron Highlands consists of type A apartments, which are supposedly priced 30% below the market price, type B apartments priced around RM200,000 and type C low-cost apartments priced around RM120,000 PSM classified the lower-income group in Cameron Highlands as households earning less than RM1,500 a month.
“In an environment of increasing rent and home prices due to tourism, many have to pass up the opportunity to buy a PR1MA home as they cannot come up with the down-payment required to secure the bank loans. “The state government should come up with a hire-purchase scheme for those who cannot get bank financing. “The hire-purchase scheme can also eliminate or reduce the down-payment significantly.
“People need help as they are being squeezed by rising living costs,” he told The Rakyat Post. Suresh said there were those who resorted to illegal settlements when they could no longer afford to rent, especially outsiders who came to Cameron Highlands in search of a better living. He warned it might already be too late to introduce the hire-purchase scheme as between 50% and 70% of PR1MA homes had been sold.
Suresh also claimed that the public in Cameron Highlands had difficulty obtaining information on the Rent-to-Own scheme for PR1MA home buyers whose loan applications had been rejected by banks. PR1MA homes in Cameron Highlands are eligible to Malaysians residing in Pahang, with individual or combined household income between RM2,500 and RM10,000 monthly.
Construction work is already under way in Tanah Rata and Kampung Raja, while Brinchang has also been identified as locations for PR1MA homes in Cameron Highlands. PR1MA is an initiative launched by the government in 2010 to build quality affordable homes across the country with participation from companies and developers in the private sector.