Housing levies under review

The state government is reviewing the various charges imposed on residential projects priced between RM300,000 and RM350,000 per unit on the island, and RM200,000 and RM250,000 on the mainland.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the move would encourage developers to build more affordable housing.

“Developers should look at areas outside the traditionally popular development spots and focus on new areas such as the southern part of mainland Penang and Batu Kawan, where the second Penang bridge is being built.”

He added that to streamline the development of housing and plan more affordable housing, the state government would be setting up a Penang Housing Board at the next state assembly sitting beginning November 1.

“The proposed housing board will deal with all issues relating to government housing and also play an active role in private housing development,” he said in his speech at the 36th annual dinner of the Real Estate Housing and Developers’ Association (Rehda) last night.

Lim said that for the first half of 2010, the property market activity showed a marginal decline of 0.6% from the second half 2009 which saw 11,858 transactions.

“The value of transactions registered 15.3% growth in the first half 2010 against the second half 2009. “

Rehda (Penang) chairman Datuk Jerry Chan in his speech said Rehda’s theme this year is ‘Greater’.

“This is what we want for the state. Greater in development, greater in job and wealth creation, greater in security and transportation and greater in the delivery system.

“Of course all of us want greater profits (too). However, recently we are seeing greater charges, fees and levies. Greater pain!” he quipped.

Chan said Rehda also wants a better format to process approvals, not speedy rejections because of insufficient time for compliance. - By David Tan (The Star)

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