Option to pay instead of build LMC, low-costs may not apply

The state government may reject applications by housing developers to pay premium in the event they could not build low medium-cost (LMC) and low-cost (LC) units.

State Town and Country Planning, Housing and Arts Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai said the state might reject such applications if they were to involve squatters and relocation issues which were yet to be resolved.

He said the option for developers to pay premium if they could not build the LMC and LC units was stipulated under the new housing guidelines.

The new guidelines, which came into force in May, state that developers will have to pay RM30,000 for each LMC unit and RM40,000 for each LC unit, in lieu of not building them in new housing developments.

“Whether or not a developer can just pay the premium is subject to the state’s approval.

“We need to look into the public’s interest as well,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He added that under the new guidelines, developers also had the option of ‘buying’ the quota from other developers who had built more than the required LMC and LC units.

“However, developers still have to pay the premium to the state but at a 25% discount,” he said.

Wong said the payment by the developers would be used by the state to finance public housing projects.

It was reported on Aug 9 that Penang Gerakan chief Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, who is also Penang BN Working Committee chairman, had queried whether the state was collecting premium from developers for not building LMC and LC houses.

Wong said since May, the state had not approved any housing projects under the new guidelines.

He also said a total of 11,596 LMC and LC units had been approved in the state since Pakatan Rakyat took over the government in March 2008. - By The Star

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