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Sayang Sabah - The voice of Sabahans

A special lab to look into the national housing problems

The steep rise of home prices is a major issue today as it affects many people, especially the low and middle-income earners who aspire to have a home of their own.

To address this issue, the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government is setting up a special research lab to resolve the national housing problems on the 22nd of August at Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

The lab seeks to identify and discuss initiatives that can be implemented speedily to address the national housing issues, including the regulation of housing prices.

The 2013 Housing Lab or HouseLab for short, is a one day event and is expected to be attended by 100 representatives from various government agencies, housing developers and real-estate agents as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Dato ‘Abdul Rahman Dahlan, said that the lab is expected to identify the best strategy in dealing with the cost of homes in the country in the short term.

Dato 'Abdul Rahman Dahlan
Dato ‘Abdul Rahman Dahlan

“The solution in controlling the cost of housing does not involve lowering of prices alone, but may also include other measures such as the rate and duration of bank loans, and other factors.

“In addition, this lab will also look at how both the public and private sectors can work together in coordinating national housing initiatives, including standardizing the various processes in the construction of houses in this country,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Abdul Rahman also stated that among the important elements to be taken into account in the workshop are the cost of housing, the housing policy that has been adopted so far and whether they are still relevant. The financial and loan aspects, the planning and social issues in the housing sector, and the supply and demand aspect.

Various parties will attend the workshop including representatives of the Local Authority, academics from local universities, representatives of local banks, utility companies, professional bodies, representatives of the Housing Developers Association (REHDA), National House Buyers Association (HBA), PR1MA, National Housing Company Bhd (SPNB), Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and PEMANDU that oversees the government’s Economic Transformation Programme.

The Lab will no doubt review some of the programmes and measures that sought to address the housing issues, such as the People’s Housing Programme (PPR), My First Home Scheme, 1Malaysia People Housing Scheme, 1Malaysia Civil Servants’ Housing Programme and the Rumah Mesra Rakyat and Rumah Mampu Milik programmes.

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