low cost flats are modern day slums?

August 12th, 2011 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Wonder how true this is. I know some of the low cost flats look unhygienic, cramped and one feels unsafe to be in the vicinity.  Its takes some awareness on the residents part as well as the provision of proper facilities on the developer/authorities behalf.  Living in small flats or apartments is not conducive if crowded with 5 to 6 people (or even more). Some families take care of the elderly and/or siblings, so don’t be surprised if there are even 10 people living in one small flat. Have seen such cases in newspapers.

The lack of facilities (and maintenance) deprives the children and youths of outlet for their energy and time. They may end up associating with wrong groups and wrong activities that lead to social and criminal problems.

Having mixed-development projects is good way of integration, but nowadays we are seeing mostly high-end and very high-end projects being launched. Just reading newspapers on weekends can show how many housing projects being advertised, and I don’t think can find any below RM500k/unit.

Developers here will be asked to build affordable houses for those in the lower income group rather than flats which are cramped and “always associated” with social problems.

Likening poorly maintained flats as “modern-day slums”, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Moha- mad Hasan said the people, especially those with many children, should be allowed to live in a more conducive environment.

He said the state government was prepared to lower the 30% quota for low-cost homes in a project if developers were willing to build low-cost houses rather than flats.

“Also, since the demand for low-cost flats here is extremely poor, developers should look at ways to provide dwellings that are attractive,” he said, adding that it was pointless to relocate squatters to only house them in such units later.

Mohamad said building low-cost flats was also not a viable solution as property near such units might not be able to attract buyers.

“It would be better if the developer can build 30 to 40 affordable houses rather than build 100 units of flats which remain empty.

“We want a win-win situation for developers, house owners and low income earners. Build houses that everyone can call home,” he said.

Mohamad said the state government would also direct developers to increase the minimum width of low-cost houses from the present 16ft (4.8m) to 18ft (5.4m).

“Houses need to be bigger so that occupants are comfortable.

“We are reviewing this and its implementation is expected soon,” he said.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung made similar calls to developers, saying they should opt for low to medium-cost houses for the lower income group in areas where land was not expensive.

“Landed homes are more comfortable for those with a big number of family members,” he said.

He said if developers found it difficult to build landed low-cost houses due to the high prices of land, they must still ensure that the apartments they constructed were of good quality.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/8/12/nation/9283985&sec=nation

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