PROJEK Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) or the People’s Housing Project are intended as temporary living quarters for those looking to buy their own houses in the future. They should only be rented out by the relevant agencies.
The objective and aspiration of the Government is for these transit homes to provide a temporary living for the occupants to save enough money before embarking on purchasing their own homes.
Those renting the PPR flats should not regard their units as their permanent homes but merely a temporary abode to shelter their family while striving to look for a permanent home.
In the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, the ownership of these PPR transit homes rests with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) who will rent out these units out for a nominal rent of RM124/month to families with a monthly household income of RM3,000 and below.
Subsidised rental charges are imposed on PPR homes which boast three bedrooms and two toilets with a size of 700 sq ft each.
The PPR flat tenants are supposed to self-occupy until they improve in their social standing and move out, thus allowing others on the ‘waiting list’ to take over possession of their units.
Those who flout the rules by subletting their units for obvious gains should be evicted with enforcement to be meted without delay. Without strict enforcement, those PPR homes could end up in the hands of underserving individuals who will only rent them for profits.
There have been cases of PPR tenants behaving like landlords by subletting rooms to foreigners or singles who migrate from their villages to the town/city. This has been going on for years with enforcement action rather lax and sometime thwarted by ‘outside’ interference.
This issue of ‘renting a rented’ PPR unit is not new and it has existed for some time now. All this is due to the greed of a few tenants who are out to make a quick profit by lording over their units.
Filtering genuine tenants
As PPR homes are not an investment tool. HBA has been calling for stricter enforcement of existing rules to ensure that low-cost housing and PPR flats are not rented out to third parties and that they are allocated to the right target group.
The relevant authorities should crack-down on those who take advantage of such social housing schemes by clamping down on those who abuse their privileges. This is especially so as some so-called tenants have the means to drive/ride expensive cars/motorbikes or have Astro satellite dish installed at their homes.
Henceforth, potential tenants should be subject to a process of ‘means testing’ to ascertain their income level so as to gauge if they continue to qualify as a PPR ‘handout’ recipient.
It makes valid sense for this social benefit in the form of PPR flat rental to be reviewed every three years by a committee within the relevant agencies so that the tenants do not overstay and should gradually allow those in the waiting list to take up occupation.
In so doing, the authorities should conduct ‘door-to-door’ spot checks to verify that occupants of PPR homes remain the deserving tenants. Stern action must be taken against those tenants who abuse the scheme.
This includes imposing hefty fines or evicting errand tenants so that their homes can be passed on to more deserving parties.
This is where enforcement must be strict so that those who no longer continue to be eligible must give way to those deserving ones but of course not to the extent of ‘throwing them onto the streets’. We understand that there is a long queue for these PPR homes.
At best, tenants who are no longer eligible for the PPR units should be honest by readily giving up their units so that their homes can be given to those who truly deserve them.
Datuk Chang Kim Loong is the honorary secretary-general of the National House Buyers Association (HBA), a voluntary nongovernment and not-for-profit organisation manned wholly by volunteers. HBA can be contacted via www.hba.org.my or e-mail [email protected].
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.