Integrated Database needed to address housing woes

HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN

CYBERJAYA: There is a need for an integrated database on housing supply to address shortages of home ownership.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said this was among the key component’s to

address the critical issue involving housing supply shortage.

“This (database) should provide insights on the needs and preferences of households, their linkages with demographic shifts, as well as housing gaps across different parts of the country,” she said.

She said this in her speech at the launching at the Sustainable Housing Future Conference: The New Urban Agenda today. Her speech was read-out by Housing and Local Government Ministry deputy secretary-general of policy Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin.

Zuraida said the database will be useful in supporting housing interventions that are more targeted, more efficient, and better coordinated with other public policies to build stronger communities.

The second component, she said involved the need for innovative financing models to fund affordable housing projects should be further developed.

“Current intervention measures largely focus on subsidising home-buyers or through direct provision of housing.

“Over the longer term, these need to be complemented by new, more sustainable alternatives that combine public and private funding for affordable housing development and investment ,”she added.

Zuraida said the next component is on the need to foster more diverse collaborative partnerships to deliver affordable housing.

“This includes a vibrant community of social housing enterprises, private foundations and non-profit organisations that support or complement the government’s affordable housing agenda,” she said.

In addition, Zuraida said regulatory process which increases the cost of supplying affordable homes should be reviewed and streamlined.

“More can be done to create further awareness and promote increase in the take-up rates for financial assistance programmes introduced by the government such as Skim Rumah Pertamaku (SRP), Skim Jaminan Kredit Perumahan (SJKP), Skim Deposit Rumah Pertama (MyDeposit), Skim Pembiayaan Fleksibel for PRIMA homebuyers and Skim Pembiayaan Fleksibel (SPEF) for PR1MA homebuyers,” she added.

The conference held at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology here, was jointly organised by Limkokwing University and the Asia Pacific CSR Council. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd