RM101.5m to spruce up DBKL’s low-cost flats, says Nong Chik
KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — An estimated RM101.5 million will be spent to maintain Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) low-cost flats, the federal territories minister said today.
“Based on the findings of DBKL’s audit on (housing) damages, it is estimated that RM101.5 million will be spent for restoration works, which will cover public works (RM57.6 million), mechanical works (RM29.6 million) and electrical works (RM14.9 million),” Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin (picture) said in a speech today.
He said DBKL had carried out an audit of the damage in all 76 of the public housing areas in March following complaints by residents in some units.
He added that restoration works will be sped up by extending the appointments of existing contractors’ and selecting new contractors through a “fast-track” open tender system.
It was reported in March that a controversial RM1.5 billion loan using the retirement savings of workers will be used to finance DBKL’s new low-cost housing schemes and to maintain existing projects that will be sold to unqualified buyers.
The senator had pointed out in March that for the 70,000 low-cost homes still being rented out at RM124 per month, the monthly maintenance cost per unit was about RM240.
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is providing the first tranche of RM300 million to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) undertaking the financing for those buying some 24,000 low-cost flats in the capital city.
The federal territories and urban well-being minister previously said DBKL had decided against making direct loans to up to 35,000 city dwellers who are still renting and unable to borrow from banks as it needs funds for “future projects.”
The Malaysian Insider reported in March that the plan to lend an initial RM300 million from the EPF to unqualified house buyers in the capital has hit a deadlock over security conditions demanded by the country’s largest retirement fund.
The EPF had said on February 8 that it is in talks with the federal government but a deal has not been inked for the initial sum of RM300 million to be lent to a special purpose vehicle linked to the Federal Territories Foundation (FTF).
The foundation is directly controlled by Raja Nong Chik.
The minister, however, said in Parliament in March that the EPF has already signed “a policy agreement to loan RM1.5 billion” for the housing scheme.
He previously said the loan would be secure as it is guaranteed by City Hall, a government agency, and that the EPF would get a 5.5 per cent return on investment annually from repayments by the new home owners.
The Umno senator also said he expects “not more than 10 per cent (of the borrowers) will default”.
He explained in March 24,000 renters have been given offers to buy their homes but only 12,000 have accepted with 5,000 having found their own financing.