Monday 1 August 2011

Guan Eng: Penang approved 11,596 affordable homes since 2008

August 01, 2011
GEORGE TOWN, Aug 1 — Lim Guan Eng today denied accusations that the Penang Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government has never launched affordable housing projects for the poor, revealing that a total of 11,596 medium- and low-cost units have been approved since 2008.

“Since taking over the administration in 2008, the state government has approved the construction of 11,596 medium- and low-cost homes, and this immediately refutes the statement that the state has never built affordable housing for the people,” he said in a statement.

The Penang chief minister said the initiatives were a mix of state government and private-funded housing projects involving housing units worth an estimated RM42,000 (low cost) each or RM72,500 (medium cost).

Of the 11,596 units, he said, 8,175 (2,612 low-cost and 5,563 medium-cost) units were built by private developers while the government and its agencies constructed 3,421 (1,194 low-cost and 2,227 medium-cost) units.

“The state government also plans to re-develop several other housing projects which involve about 992 low-cost homes and 192 medium-cost homes,” Lim said.

Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) working committee deputy chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman recently accused the PR state government of failing to launch any housing schemes for the lower- and middle-income groups since it assumed control in 2008.

The Umno state chief, who has been one of Lim’s fiercest critics since the latter was appointed chief minister, had also claimed that the state government has been “discriminating” against federal government-linked companies that apply for approvals to launch low-cost housing schemes.

In an immediate response to Zainal, Lim denied discriminating against federal agencies, saying approvals would not be a problem if they complied with regulations.

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