KOTA KINABALU: The State Government has targeted to build about 50,000 units of affordable houses in Sabah within five to 10 years.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Hajiji Nohd Noor said this in considering the people’s demand for affordable homes has gone up, dramatically, in the State.

He said his ministry is in the midst of preparing the working paper for the proposal to be submitted to the Federal Government.

“Due to our policy to ensure that each Malaysian can afford to own a house, we aim to build more affordable houses as what we have been doing now through the Sabah Housing and Town Planning Authority (LPPB) or other government agencies.

“The private sector like Sabah Housing and Real Estate Development Association (Shareda) has also promised to assist us in constructing more such houses in Sabah.

“In fact, we need at least about 50,000 units of affordable houses to cater to the people’s demand which is our target to be achieved between five to 10 years’ time,” he said.

Hajiji said this to Daily Express during the ministry’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri Open House and celebration on Merdeka Day with its agencies and local authorities in Sabah at Wisma Wanita, here.

He was commenting on a statement on Wednesday by Luyang Assemblyman Hiew King Cheu who called on the State Government to consider building more low-cost houses like those in the past for the people in Sabah.

Hiew said the demand for these low and medium cost houses was getting higher now due to the high cost of houses built by private developers.

To question, Hajiji said they will develop the houses on lands belonging to LPPB and private-owned land in a joint venture but will not build them in the city or major township areas as it is difficult to look for such lands in these places.

Following the high demand for affordable houses, he said the ministry has a plan to build such units in each district in Sabah and the design even for low-cost houses would be in line with the current trend in the property industry.

“Our nation now is moving towards being a developed country in 2020, therefore, the design for the affordable houses and low-cost ones would also be changed to follow the current trend in the market.

“We will not build houses using old style design but we will do some upgrading to ensure the design of the houses is suitable with the current situation,” he said.

On pricing, Hajiji said the affordable houses would not be between RM100,000 and RM250,000. He said the cost of constructing the houses would be borne by the Government and thus the housing pricing would be cheaper although the houses are built with high costs - DAILY EXPRESS (Hayati Dzulkifli)

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