An RM80 million Kepayan Ridge People’s Housing Program (PPR) will be built on 6.437 acres of land located next to Austral Park in Kota Kinabalu.
“One of the most challenging part of the project is acquiring the land ,” said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who officiated the ground-breaking ceremony there earlier this morning.
“It must be strategic enough to attract tenants or buyers of the property built on the land, and close enough to schools and other facilities such as transportation,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Muhyiddin added, to achieve this goal, it is imperative to maintain the partnership that has been forged between the federal and state government in the past, especially in the provision of funding through the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government (UHLG). On its part the state government has carried out the acquisition of land as well as providing the infrastructure through the relevant state government channel.
In addition, he said working together with the private sector is also just as important especially in fulfilling the ruling government’s pledge to build one million affordable houses in urban and rural areas across the nation.
Earlier in his speech, Muhyiddin cited the rising house prices in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah as another issue that has to be critically addressed by the government. He said even individuals earning a monthly income of RM10,000 couldn’t afford some of Sabah’s more than half a million ringgit terrace houses that used to cost RM140,000 to RM200,000 in the past.
Aside from the use of government funds, Muhyiddin disclosed that the government will look into other options such as working with EPF (Employee Provident Fund) or other financial institutions to support the PPR projects.
The Kepayan Ridge PPR consists of five blocks of apartments which are expected to be completed in the next three years. On completion, the state government or local authority will be responsible for the management of sales, rental and maintenance of the 500 apartment units.
According to the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, the government has provided a substantial amount of subsidy to cover the cost of housing. He said for rented PPR units, the maintenance cost will be absorbed by the government and rates are set at RM124 per month, much lower than the current market rates.
Rahman said the government is also subsidizing up to RM100,000 per unit to cover the development cost of RM100,000 to RM150,000 so that each apartment can be sold at no more than RM42,000.
The project will be equipped with facilities such as a multi-purpose hall, kindergarten and playground. Each of the 700 sq feet apartments will consist of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living and dining room as well as a kitchen.
Households with a total income of RM2500 are eligible to apply for the Kepayan Ridge PPR through the Open Registration System or SPT managed by the Sabah State Government.
20 percent of the units will be reserved for the Transit Home Program, a recently introduced program by UHLG to assist newly married local young couples.
Among those present at the ceremony were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin, Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Panglima Salleh Said Keruak as well as Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.