PPRs must only be leased, not rent-to-own, says Kepong MP

Yiswaree Palansamy
Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng urges the government to scrap the rent-to-own move for existing tenants of the the People Housing Programme. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 ― Lim Lip Eng urged the government to maintain the People Housing Programme (PPR) as a purely leasehold initiative, and to scrap the rent-to-own move for existing tenants of the programme.

The Kepong MP said this was because the base idea for the programme was as a “shelter” until low-income tenants are able to purchase “higher end” properties.

“The original purpose of the PPR is for renting. It is not practical for the government to promote the idea of renting to eventually own the units.

“When some units are privately owned, and others are still being rented, there will be the issue of management and collection of maintenance fees. It is, therefore, best to stick to the original intention of PPR.

“During the previous government, the Ministry of Federal Territories had approved over 20,000 units of Rumawip units in Kuala Lumpur but there are not enough PPR units for rent to the lower income group,” the DAP man said in a statement.

PPR is a government initiative for squatter resettlement that also meets the financial needs of low-income earners.

The government introduced a rent-to-own scheme for some PPR units, which allowed the tenants to convert rental into downpayments for the units.

Rumawip, meanwhile, refers to the Federal Territories Affordable Housing project, which allows owners to rent out their units, subject to certain conditions.

The programme was introduced by the then Barisan Nasional (BN) government to address the issue of affordable housing for low- and middle-income earners.

“It is a fact that not many young married couples can afford Rumawip which costs around RM300,000 per unit. Some of them, from the moment they complete their studies, are already blacklisted for failing to repay their education loan. Moreover, with their low salaries, banks are unwilling to provide loans.

 “This is why I am urging the Federal Territories minister, Khalid Samad, to seriously look into building more PPR units to meet the needs of these young people,” Lim added.

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