Penang gives out affordable homes

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GEORGE TOWN: Hundreds of Penangites thronged the concourse area of Komtar, yesterday, to get their hands on the state government's affordable housing scheme.

Among them was sales executive Lee Poh Guan, 45, who arrived as early as 8.30am to get a form despite the launch being set at 9am.

Describing it as a healthy and positive move by the state government, Lee said he looked forward to purchasing his first own home after having stayed in rented properties all his life.

"It is a good move by the state government and I am happy I can finally own a home that is affordable in Penang.

"Everyone knows property prices are very high in Penang which makes it impossible for middle-income earners like me to buy my own home so this is a much-awaited move," said Lee.

Lee hopes to buy a low medium cost apartment priced at RM72,500 in Jalan S.P. Chelliah situated in the heart of the island.

For guest service executive Low Wei Siong, 30, who is eyeing the RM200,000 apartment also on the island, the scheme is a much welcomed and timely move.

"I never thought I'd be able to buy my own property in Penang especially at my age and I look forward to be chosen," he said.

The simple launching ceremony in Komtar, graced by chief minister Lim Guan Eng, saw some 500 registration forms being snapped up within 30 minutes.

The month-long registration, which started yesterday, will end on March 7 and interested parties can obtain the registration forms from the concourse area of Komtar, the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) office in Bandar Perda and Penang development Corporation (PDC) office in Bayan Baru from 9am to 5pm including public holidays.

The ceremony saw the registration for 1,840 affordable homes in two locations namely Jalan S.P. Chelliah (1,320 units) on the island and Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan (520 units) on the mainland.

Lim announced in his speech that the units on the island would see 770 units of 700sq ft of low-medium cost apartments of RM72,500 each, 303 units of 800 sq ft apartments of RM200,000 and 82 units of 1,000 sq ft apartments of RM400,000.

As for Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan, 11,800 units of affordable housing built over a 10 to 15 year period will be available with 149 units of 800sq ft of low medium cost apartments at RM72,500 each, 98 units of 900 sq ft of RM168,000 and 273 units of 1,000 sq ft of RM220,000 units for registration.

"Anyone with a monthly basic household income not exceeding RM3,500 is eligible to apply for the low medium cost units while those with monthly basic household income exceeding RM3,501 are eligible for the affordable apartments.

"The Batu Kawan project will be designed by Surbana International Consultants which also designed and built the world famous Singapore HDB homes," Lim added.

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