The Selangor state government’s plan
to allow the rich to buy and rent out low-cost houses to the poor
contradicts the very purpose of low-cost housing
by John Chung
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Yesterday, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo announced that the state government will amend the present rules on low cost-houses to allow the high- and middle-income earners to buy these houses and rent them out to the poor.
It was reported that the plan was to help reduce losses suffered by developers arising from the low purchase of low cost-houses by those from the low-income group who earn less than RM1,500 a month.
Such a plan, however, contradicts the very purpose of low-cost housing. Low cost-houses are built for a very simple reason, i.e. to enable the low-income earners to own their own home.
Instead of amending the rules to enable the rich to buy low-cost houses and rent them out to the poor, the state government should first examine:
To allow the rich to buy low-cost homes and rent them out to the poor will not only subject the plan to possible abuses but in the long run, will not help ensure that those from the lower-income group have the opportunity to own their own home.
That is why the state government should get its priorities right and focus on making low-cost housing truly ‘low-cost’ and accessible to those from the low-income groups. It should formulate a scheme to enable the low-income earners to purchase their own house (instead of merely renting) so that they can also enjoy the security of house ownership.
* John Chung, Selangor DAP Organising Secretary