Johor royals announce project to build homes under RM200,000 for Johoreans

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibrahim today announced the ‘Rumah Impian Bangsa Johor’ in answer to public complaints about skyrocketing property prices in Johor. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — For the average Johorean, owning a three-bedroom, two-bathroom landed house priced below RM200,000 may soon be within reach, thanks to the state royal family.

Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibrahim today announced the “Rumah Impian Bangsa Johor” in answer to public complaints about skyrocketing property prices beyond their pockets in the southern state neighbouring Singapore.

“The project will be under the auspices of the Sultan Ibrahim Foundation — an effort by the Johor Royal Family to ease the burden of the people,” the Johor crown prince said in a statement on his official Facebook page.

He said the housing project is non-profit and will include amenities like a multi-purpose hall, a park, shops and a motel that will also be built and funded by himself and his father, the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.

“The foundation will appoint a project manager and contractor to build the houses in accordance to His Majesty’s specifications,” he added.

Tunku Ismail, popular known by his abbreviated title TMJ, had announced last Friday that Sultan Ibrahim plans to donate 60.7 hectares of his own land to build 1,000 houses in every district across the state, retailing at a starting price of RM70,000.

Today, he expanded on the characteristics of the “dream homes”, saying each unit will have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Single-storey terrace units sold at prices starting from RM70,000 while double-storey units will be prices higher, but still under RM200,000.

To make sure these houses only go to those deserving and that there is fair distribution across all ethnic groups, he said the Sultan has set up stringent criteria.

Applicants must prove they are Johoreans, and have a household income below RM5,000 monthly and must not be the eldest or only child in their family and have never previously owned any home.

“HM Sultan of Johor decrees for a fair distribution amongst Malays, Chinese and Indians. His Majesty intends to build a strong social spirit,” Tunku Ismail said.

He said a computerised vetting system will be used to screen the applicants, who will also have to pass a selection committee that will include the Secretary of State and board members of the Sultan Ibrahim Foundation.

It has been reported that prices of houses in Johor had shot up over the years, compounded by affordable homes being snapped up by those with political affiliations, and not to applicants fitting the criteria.

Bank Negara Malaysia has also released statistics showing that housing in the country is priced around 4.4 times the median income.

The capital and Johor recorded the highest disparity with housing priced at 5.4 times and 5.2 times from the level of median income groups.

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