Aye to new housing loans

The proposed new housing loan scheme for those in the low and middle income group here can keep the city “thriving, vibrant and youthful,” said the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda).

Its president Datuk Seri Michael Yam said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Ministry should be complimented for proposing the scheme.

However, he stressed that the scheme’s terms and conditions would have to be well drafted if the proposal was to be a success.

Factors such as geographic boundaries and income limits would also have to be properly defined, Yam said.

“Another thing that should be considered is risk management.

“This scheme will be very attractive to people who are otherwise unable to obtain bank loans due to the lack of steady income or personal reasons. We have to be able to properly deal with these high credit risks.”

Najib had announced on Saturday a special funding scheme to help low and middle income families own homes in the city.

The scheme, which comes into effect on March 1, will cover units built under the National Economic Action Council’s People Housing Programme as well as City Hall’s public housing programme.

“In Kuala Lumpur, many young people are now moving to other places because of high costs of living, and transportation issues. This scheme can attract people from elsewhere to live and work in the capital, and retain those already living here,” said Yam.

Many young Malaysians have expressed positive views about the proposed scheme.

“It can improve living standards for those in the city,” said university student Asyraf Syahir, 20.

“I hope the scheme’s terms will be favourable because houses in Kuala Lumpur are expensive. I would like to own a house here some- day,” said IT specialist Christine Leong, 24.

Marketing executive Lee Kim Kong, 25, said although the initiative was good, more holistic solutions were needed to address rising house prices. - By Terence Toh (The Star)

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