2,000 more affordable homes by 2019

George Town will have an additional 2,093 units of apartments priced up to RM400,000 in four years now that work to build "The Rise", Penang’s affordable housing scheme on Jalan SP Chelliah, has started.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the project, with a gross development value of RM600 million, was scheduled for completion in November 2019.

The Rise will consist of 770 units of 700 sq ft low-medium-cost apartments priced at RM72,500 each; 883 units of 800 sq ft apartments priced at RM200,000 each; 165 units of 900 sq ft apartments priced at RM300,000 each; and 275 units of 1,000 sq ft apartments at RM400,000 each.

On Penang island, the price of affordable homes is capped at RM400,000.

Lim said the state government would channel RM52.9 million from the Penang Bumiputera Housing Trust account to fund the building of 320 low-medium cost units reserved for Bumiputera buyers.

"The trust account will have only RM16.4 million left after we spend the money on the units.

"So the RM23.2 million collected from the sales of these units will go back into the trust account to enable us to look into providing more affordable homes for Bumiputeras in Penang in the future," he said when officiating the ground-breaking at the site of The Rise this morning.

Lim said this should show the state's detractors that the Pakatan Rakyat administration in Penang did not discriminate against certain races.

"All those accusations and slander are baseless.

"We also follow housing guidelines and rules set by the federal government," he said.

The Rise project on a 4.48ha Penang Municipal Council-owned land on Jalan SP Chelliah is administered by state investment arm Penang Development Corporation (PDC), of which Lim is chairman.

Lim also thanked Zubicon Sdn Bhd, the company which won the open tender to undertake the project.

He said the project would also feature amenities like a community park, bus terminal, taxi hub, civic centre, surau, a pavilion, and even a “market street” and “big tree skyway”.

"We will also make sure that the project will abide by the green building index, which means that the whole development will be 70% green.

"We intend to make this green project a model for future affordable housing schemes and other projects.”

Lim said the state would also ensure that additional car parks were built at a cost of RM29 million.

The project is part of the state government's pledge to build 22,545 units of houses from low-cost to affordable homes across five districts in Penang in a move to tackle skyrocketing property prices in the state, especially on the island.

The whole undertaking is split into 12 housing projects located in SP Chelliar, Teluk Kumbar, Jelutong, Pintasan Cecil and Sandilands on the island; Bandar Cassia, Juru, Kampung Jawa, Ampang Jajar, Bukit Mertajam, Mak Mandin and Ujung Batu on the mainland.

Apart from the project on Jalan SP Chelliar, work to build affordable homes has also started in Bandar Cassia and Teluk Kumbar. - By The Malaysian Insider

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