HOWEVER QUESTIONS PERSIST ABOUT WHO EXACTLY HAS BENEFITED
A recent sitting of parliament saw questions being raised about the state of effectiveness of the rent-to-own (RTO) scheme under the People’s Housing Project (PPR) programme. In response, Dewan Rakyat was told that 1,450 families have already benefited from the RTO.
Responding to a specific question from Senator Megat Zulkarnain Omardin, Deputy Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique said the scheme was a positive effort by the government to help the poor.
The scheme, she said, was especially helpful for those who are unable to secure loans or financial assistance from banking institutions.
“We have many qualified applicants who applied for PPR units under the ministry’s criteria, but do not qualify for a loan from the bank. Although the house is only priced at RM35,000, some are deemed ‘unbankable’ as they do not have a fixed income,” Halimah said.
“Therefore, the ministry proposed that this group be given assistance. The implementation of the RTO scheme allows them to stay in the units without having to pay deposits,” she added.
Under the scheme, successful applicants will only need to pay monthly rental fees. After a certain period of time, the units will ultimately be transferred to them as owners.
The exchange was initiated during an oral question session in Dewan Negara. Many of the government’s housing aid schemes are increasingly coming under the microscope. Certain quarters within the political arena have criticised the effectiveness of these schemes, saying many have been in existence for years without making clear impact.
Furthermore, there have been sporadic news reports about the abuse of various PPR schemes, with some qualifying for programme despite being above the stipulated income bracket.
Speaking specifically about the RTO scheme, however, Halimah said that it has been implemented in PPR Gua Musang with a total of 1,000 units, PPR Taman Dana in Ulu Bernam (300 units), and PPR Ladang Siliau in Negeri Sembilan (150 units).